By RAID

 - September 16, 2014

Several press reports have followed from RAID's April 2014 report on Och-Ziff, the New York hedge fund currently under investigation by both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice (under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act).

The Wall Street Journal published 'Och-Ziff Loans Financed Controversial Congo Deals', which coincided with the release of RAID's report. In June, The Independent wrote about 'The London connection: Former UK boss of Wall Street hedge fund could be drawn into corruption investigation'. In July, South Africa's Mail & Guardian detailed the dealings of a former government minister and Och-Ziff business partner:'Sexwale 'caught up' in US probe of suspect DRC mining deal'.

More recently, on 21 and 22 August 2014, Businessweek and Bloomberg published 'Och-Ziff Platinum Deal Aided Despot in Time of Need' and 'The Hedge Fund and the Despot’, in which the former US ambassador to Zimbabwe condemns the CAMEC platinum deal with Mugabe. Most recently, on 5 September 2014, under the headline 'Steinmetz Claims Dozens Aware of Guinea Vote Rigging', Bloomberg revisited the controversy caused by the award of mining contracts in Guinea, citing an ongoing court case in which the defendant (BSG Resources Ltd.) has claimed that Och-Ziff are among those who knew elections were rigged.

CNBC, commenting here on this ‘bad press’ and citing the RAID report, quotes an adviser to institutional investors: ‘It doesn't get any uglier than that in terms of a headline….They hire a firm like Och-Ziff to be the 'sleep at night' fund….When the ballast underperforms and gives you headline risk, it begs the question as to why it's there in the first place.’ Morningstar analyst Stephen Ellis believes that clients can be ‘rightly concerned about Och-Ziff's investment processes and may feel a bit more leery about putting more assets with Och-Ziff’.

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