According to Moneyweb, some firms with close ties to Cambist are experiencing problems.
A month ago, OneLaw indicated that it would be offering voluntary severance packages to staff who wanted to leave. Earlier this week, Moneyweb writes:
Moneyweb has learned from several independent sources that OneLaw, the company that operates the Cambist Online Platform, retrenched staff on a day’s notice on Monday morning. The sources spoke to Moneyweb on condition of anonymity. Some indicate that OneLaw released its entire staff complement, apparently verbally. A few employees have been offered positions at law firm Flemix & Associates.
In an emailed response to Moneyweb, the director of Flemix & Associates, Alanza Flemix-Jordaan said: “Our firm made use of Onelaw as one of our service providers. We terminated the service level agreement with OneLaw and will no longer use them as our service provider. Our firm merely decided that it will be more cost effective to handle the functions within the firm itself.”
She added that: “In order to maintain certain skills that we require to continue an effective service to our clients, we have made offers to various key personnel in OneLaw. Flemix & Associates Inc. have not taken over any OneLaw assets.”
Another former associate of Cambist, Bridge Finance, is under business rescue.
Cambist indicated that is has switched from selling personal debt contracts to cellphone contracts in view of the difficulty in obtaining emolument attachment orders against debt defaulters. This was still available on the Cambist platform at the time of writing.
This morning, Media24 published an article which claims that Cambist have temporarily stopped trading in debt accounts.
Moneyweb published the following newsflash which was purportedly sent to Cambist clients on Tuesday:
- “Cambist is a separate entity registered as a separate company. Previously it was a product of OneLaw, but this is not the situation anymore.
- A lot of activity has occurred at OneLaw during the last few months, due largely to factors out of its control. Management at Cambist is continually assessing the situation in order to protect the interests of its users.
- Collections happening on all existing Cambist matters will still proceed as per normal. This is because the collection attorney appointed for each matter is still responsible for this. Neither OneLaw nor Cambist have in the past or do currently facilitate any collections.
- Cambist did not retrench any of its staff.
- Buying and selling on the Cambist platform has temporarily been suspended due to the developments referred to above. We will keep you updated as to this activity.
- Cambist users will be kept up to date if any new matters arise
Moneyweb further states:
If users are unable to sell any contracts they hold, it raises the question of what will happen if these become non-performing. Cambist has always insisted that it guarantees the return, but it has never adequately provisioned for buying out every contract sold on the platform.
Some of the biggest implosions of schemes offering above-average returns, like property syndications, happened as a result of market conditions changing, and their problems being aired in the media.
Let’s hope, for the sake of investors, that history will not repeat itself.