So far, almost 500 disgruntled investors have signed up to the protest.
The call centres on the collapse of LM Investment Management (LM) headed by financier Peter Drake, who put the funds into two Australian mortgage funds – First Mortgage Income Fund (FMIF) and the Managed Performance Fund (MPF).
FMIF was said to have handled around AUS$800 million at the peak of trading prior to 2009.
Then catastrophe struck the firms, leading to massive debt write-offs and eventually administrators being called in.
Anonymous call to action
Now, an anonymous British expat in Malaysia has sent a rallying cry out to other LMIM investors across the world to band together to fight for compensation.
Calling himself Victor John, the expat has set up the LM Investor Victim Centre web site to co-ordinate action against regulators and the company.
Victor John says he is hiding behind a cloak of anonymity because he fears for his safety.
The web site claims 12,000 investors put AUS$750 million into the failed companies. They expect to receive less than 20 cents on the dollar compensation and even as low as five cents on the dollar.
“By signing up for the campaign, aggrieved LM investors can work together for a fair and just resolution,” says the web site. “We want to bring the plight of investors to the attention of the authorities and other organisations responsible for sorting out this mess.”
Blot on reputation
One key action for investors, says the web site, is that investors should write to the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, other ministers and financial regulators to express their dissatisfaction at the way the case has been handled.
“We would like to see the government to call a public inquiry. The collapse of LM has left a blot on the reputation of Australian funds industry,” says the site.
Most of the investors were directed to LM by financial advisers, who they claim were paid above average commissions by the firm.
“Taking action in court is just about impossible because the investors are spread across the world,” says the web site. “One of the only weapons we have left to challenge this case is acting collectively to put pressure on politicians and regulators.”