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Is it likely that the London office of a US-based broker will have an SEC Officer 'in-house'?

This is in regard to confirming a purchase with the company. The call time was between 3am and 4am London time. I am in Australia.

Company describe themselves as an 'Alternative Asset Manager': "a leading global alternative asset manager, focused on investing in long-life, top-notch assets across technology, infrastructure, renewable power and equity that is private". They claim to have a block of shares to sell to investors at a favourable price.

  • SEC as in US SEC? – RonJohn Oct 28 '17 at 22:51
  • Yes, claimed to be from the US SEC, seconded to the office during a very active period for the on-selling of the shares. – GeoffOz Oct 28 '17 at 23:32
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    What exactly is a ‘favorable’ price? If they claim they offer them under market price, it’s a scam. – Aganju Oct 29 '17 at 2:15
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    This is setting off all sorts of alarm bells, just to be clear; they called you right? – Koen vd H Oct 29 '17 at 17:28
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    Something smells bad here. Googling your phrase leads to Liberty Global Partners, which yes has a pretty website so appears to exist; however, their Companies House filing shows the UK company was set up on 12 July this year and has one director who owns all the shares. Which does not sound at all like how an actual international brokerage might be set up. – AakashM Oct 30 '17 at 9:14
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I have worked for an alternative asset manager that had SEC personal in the office when the SEC was doing their semi-periodic audits. I'll mention they showed up at 8am and left at 5pm as if they had a clock set. This was just my experience.

It seems unlikely but not out of the realm of reason that someone from the SEC would be in a US company's London office. It seems rather unlikely that a firm would tell someone about the SEC presence over the phone. If I recall, we were asked to not mention the presence of SEC to anyone outside the firm while they were there. I'm not sure if that was company policy or an SEC request.

I don't work for the SEC so don't take this as an answer. I'd call the SEC. They may be able to confirm the presence and they may be interested in a US firm that would use their name in a sales call.

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    Yes, Thanks, I intend to call the SEC directly during business hours. It was the suspicion of an SEC officer working overnight that led me to post this question. – GeoffOz Oct 29 '17 at 2:34
  • You say when the SEC was auditing the company. This was describe as being to speak with new clients and validate that they understood what was being implemented - new client, new account, value of investment etc. – GeoffOz Oct 29 '17 at 2:40
  • Yeah this sounds super fishy to me, but I don't work for the SEC so I can't be sure. – rhaskett Oct 29 '17 at 2:45

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