Alexander Andrew Macdonell Fraser, Baron Fraser of Corriegarth
Born in 1946, he is a treasurer of the Conservative Party and from 2016, (courtesy of David Cameron’s much criticised Resignation Honours list) a life Peer member of the House of Lords also called “God’s waiting room.”
The World’s second largest legislative body after the Chinese National People’s Congress.
Whilst there is no record of a marriage before 2010, he has a son, Alexander Albert Henry Fraser (b1984), a property developer, who, together with his father controls Remenham Riverside Ltd., London.
His son is also one of 6 partners in Northampton registered property company, Vanneck Residential LLP and is one of 2 Directors of Container City Projects (London) Ltd., Property developers.
A major financial donor to the Tory’s, he has given many millions of pounds to the party since 2004.
He was also the second largest “Better Together” donor, giving £200,000 to the campaign for a no vote in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.
His Garthbeg Farms enterprise in Scotland claimed £84373.22 farming subsidies in 2016.
He was educated at Eton College and St John’s College, Oxford. After graduation (Master’s degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from St. John College, Oxford) he started his career covering equity markets in the Asian region, working at Vickers De Costa, Sun Hung Kai Securities and Henderson Crosthwaite.
He progressed and became a global investor and has held numerous posts in the financial sector both in the City of London and elsewhere.
He served as a director then President of Golden Bridge Investment & Securities Co., Ltd.
He served as a Director then Chief Executive at Nava Securities in London and Golden Bridge Investment & Securities Co., Ltd.
In 1984, he joined and served as a Director then CEO at Baring Securities, Far East and also established and managed the stock broking network and infrastructure in Australia and Asia ex Japan.
In 1985 he was listed as a Director at Ing Baring Securities (Japan) Limited holding the position of “Stockbroker”.
The company had been around since 12 Jul 1985 and lists its registered address as being in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
He served as a Director, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman at Bridge Securities, with responsibility and oversight for all stock broking activities.
Note: His Wikipedia incorrectly quotes: “He is married to Rebecca (née Shaw-Mackenzie, formerly Ramsay), they have two daughters and three sons between them.”
This is incorrect the children father is William Alan Grant Ramsay. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Fraser,_Baron_Fraser_of_Corriegarth)
William Alan Grant Ramsay
William Alan Grant Ramsay and Rebecca Mckenzie Shaw
Born in Canada in 1958, he resides at Newhall, Balblair, Dingwall, Scotland.
He currently holds the position of, Director of Closed Joint Stock Company, Aral Petroleum Capital, Mostostal Export, Sir Ian Noble & Partners Ltd. registered office; (Skye).
The company, incorporated in 2000 is classified as Fund management activities.
Ramsay has been engaged in private equity investments primarily in Kazakhstan since 1997.
From 2004-2014 he was, Chief Executive Officer, then President of Caspian Energy Inc. (Oil exploration company registered in Ontario, Canada.
As a founder of Golden Eagle, he was actively engaged in advising companies on inward investment in the energy sector.
Following the acquisition of Golden Eagle by Central Asian Industrial Holdings, he worked closely with Kazkommertsbank CJSC during which time a group of investors from Kazakhstan acquired a majority stake in Nelson Resources Inc.
He became the chairman designate, and subsequently interim chairman of Nelson Resources Inc. on completion of the acquisition.
He has over 35 years experience in the Asian capital markets.
From 1984 to 1990 he served as a director of Baring International Investment Management, during which years he resided in Korea and Japan, with principal responsibility for managing funds investing in the Asian equity markets.
From 1991 to 1997, he was based in Hong Kong and worked for Jardine Fleming Securities as a director.
His geographical areas of responsibility included Korea, Taiwan, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
He graduated from Magdalene College, Cambridge University UK and completed a Post-graduate degree at Peking University, China.
He married Rebecca Mckenzie Shaw, (b1961) on 4 May 1985.
The family was complete with the birth of their 5 children: Catriona Alexandra Ramsay, (1987), Douglas Shaw-Mackenzie Ramsay, (1989), Irene Lilian Ramsay, (1990), Euan Shaw-Mackenzie Ramsay, (1992) and Ruaridh Shaw-Mackenzie Ramsay (1996).
The couple suffered tragedy with the early death of their eldest son, Douglas Shaw-Mackenzie (b1989) who was found dead in his room at the Vimean Angkor Pich Hotel in Siem Reap Town, Cambodia, on December 26, 2012.
According to the medical report, he had died from a self-administered drug injection.
Her divorce date is not available, but from 2002-2014 Alexander Andrew Macdonell Fraser, Baron Fraser of Corriegarth and Rebecca with her children are recorded as living in Dingwall.
They went on to marry (3 Jun 2010)).
The couple split their time between their homes in London and the Highlands of Scotland.
Her father is the 22nd Chief of Clan Shaw and a feudal Baron.
Cameron created more Peers than any other PM in history
6 Aug 2016: New peer on David Cameron’s controversial honours list, Alexander Andrew Macdonell Fraser is exposed as a multi-millionaire Tory donor who donated millions of pounds to the party
Despite backing reform of the House of Lords, David Cameron nominated 245 peers during his time in office, working out at an average of 39 a year.
New analysis by academics shows that Cameron created lifetime peerages at a quicker rate than any Prime Minister in history.
The former Prime Minister has come under fire for the list he submitted just before leaving office, naming a total of 59 people, (including Fraser) in line to receive 13 peerages and 46 honours.
The latest honours list has reignited debate over reform to the unelected House of Lords, with questions being raised over who is being installed into the upper house, one of the biggest legislative chambers in the world.
Fraser is estimated to be the fifth biggest individual donor to the party within the last parliamentary cycle.
He is one of the coveted few who donated enough to be part of Cameron’s exclusive ‘leader’s group’, an inner circle of businessmen who had access to the then PM and other ministers for lunches and other events.
Fraser, who has a net worth of £150 million, recently described the £300 daily allowance for Members of the House of Lords as “inadequate.” (7 Aug 2016)
Critics have complained that the list reeks of ‘cronyism. Also among the recipients is former chancellor George Osborne, Samantha Cameron’s stylist Isabel Spearman, his long serving aide Gabby Bertin, and Eton alumni Ed Llewellyn. (The Independent)
On your way up
3 Jul 1999: Nick Leeson, the trader who gambled and made £millions for Barings eventually lost £850 million and bust the Bank – is on his way home, released early due to cancer
Nick Leeson has dominated the lives of 1,200 bank workers who in 1995 lost their jobs and countless others who were deprived of their savings and his return to Britain after serving 4 years in Jail in Singapore will succeed only in adding to their torment.
Before Leeson flies to Britain, he will be questioned again by investigators who are unsure how he made losses of £850m and camouflaged them in an “errors” account, labelled 88888.
Yesterday, Baring’s liquidators in the UK, solicitors Slaughter and May, obtained a high court order freezing whatever assets he has here.
When Leeson was arrested in Germany, he fought hard to be extradited to Britain.
His lawyers argued he was a British citizen and the offences he had committed were against a British bank.
Leeson said he would plead guilty and offered a full, written confession to the serious fraud office (SFO).
He was desperate for the case to be heard in Britain and for his sentence to carried out in a British jail, and not in the Far East.
But his plea was ignored by the SFO, and many City commentators remain suspicious about the motivations behind the decision.
The Bank of England and the directors of Barings were no doubt relieved to see him go back to Singapore, where the two technical charges of fraud he faced would not necessitate calling witnesses from Britain to explain how a junior trader had precipitated an international banking crisis.
The SFO’s decision also prevented hundreds of Barings bond holders, investors who had put savings into the bank’s bonds, starting a private prosecution.
They were the only ones to lose money when ING bought Barings.
Leeson suspected that the establishment and the government conspired to keep him out of Britain.
“He was very angry and very bitter when he was extradited back to Singapore,” said a friend. “He never got over it. It meant serving his sentence on the other side of the world, away from his wife and his family.
Lisa, his wife, divorced him and remarried while he was behind bars.
He has been very isolated over the past three years.
The prison kept him away from English-speakers, so he hasn’t been able to talk to anyone.” (The Mail)
“All that Gltters – The fall of the Baring Bank” – John Gapper and Nicholas Denton
The book provides a definitive, classic account of the fall of the House of Baring and the ultimate rogue trader Nick Leeson.
It reveals the Faustian deal struck between the whizz-kid traders who seemed to be bringing in huge profits and the grandees who were happy to pocket them without asking too many questions.
For the first time, the actions and motives of all the participants are explained, including the final days when politicians and bankers made a last-ditch attempt to save the bank, as well as Nick Leeson’s actions and motives.
Extracts from the book:
“The Henderson Crosthwaite,(Far East) securities partnership was finalised in August 1983 with the recruitment of the Honourable Alexander Andrew MacDonell Fraser.
A tall, handsome man who previously worked as the London representative of Sun Hung Kai Securities, a Hong Kong broking firm.
He had been educated at Eton College and st John’s College, Oxford, which gave him a combination of laid-back charm and patrician haughtiness.
His first job after Oxford in 1968 had been at Kleiwort Benson, the merchant bank.
He had not blazed a distinguished trail there, being known as much for a dark blue velvet suit that he owned as for his merchant banking skills.
Fraser spent evenings at the New Casanova Club, a casino off Grosvenor Square, and was inclined to gamble to the limits of his means.
He had gone to Hong Kong in 1970 as an analyst with Vickers.
He was struck by the vitality of the colony compared with Britain at that time and felt an immediate affinity with the money making culture and with the Chinese love of gambling.
In 1977 he came back to London with Sun Hung Kai.
His job was to buy shares and bonds in the London market for Sun Hung Kai’s customers.
Fraser did well, partly because many of them wanted to trade gold and London was the centre of the world market.
Frasers contacts in Hong Kong would come in useful later when selling Japanese shares.
In 1984, Baring Brothers agreed to buy out Henderson Crosthwaite,(Far East) in which Fraser was a partner.
Baring Brothers would hold 75% of shares in the new broking firm called Baring Far East Securities Ltd whilst Henderson Croswaite,(Far East) would get 25%.
The quarter share in the new firm was divided among the partners. Fraser’s share was 10%.
The initial deal was for 7 years which would provide a good reward for all involved if projected operating profits were achieved.
Barings Bank management incompetent at every level
At the beginning of 1992, Baring Securities decided to set up a futures operation in Singapore to take advantage of the rapidly growing success of SIMEX (Singapore International Monetary Exchange).
Nick Leeson seemed to be the right person to head up the operation and, in April 1992, Nick and Lisa Leeson moved to Singapore.
Leeson was appointed general manager of Baring Futures (Singapore) and was responsible for organizing the settlements and accounting departments and acting as head of the SIMEX trading operations.
The true extent of Barings’ problems was not to be fully appreciated until February 1995. But even in 1992 there was a warning signal of potential problems ahead.
Before he took up the posting to Singapore, Leeson had applied to the Securities and Futures Authority (SFA ) for a Certificate in Corporate Governance London trading licence.
Despite his success with the settlements part of broking activities (often referred to as the ‘back office’), Leeson was keen to be involved in the more glamorous side of broking, that is dealing in futures and options (referred to as the ‘front office’).
In broking circles, those who worked in the back office were almost regarded as second-class citizens compared to the front office.
In the front office there was greater opportunity to earn sizeable bonuses, which came to be a feature of city financial institutions during the 1980s.
Leeson would not be able to actively trade securities unless he was licensed by the SFA. Baring Securities therefore submitted Leeson’s application to the SFA.
Leeson answered ‘no’ to a question whether he had any County Court judgements outstanding against him.
Following a routine check by the SFA, it was found that Leeson indeed did have an outstanding judgement.
In fact, in May 1992 Watford County Court, on behalf of National Westminster Bank, made a judgement of £2,426 against him.
The SFA returned the application to Baring Securities, who simply withdrew it.
It seems that no more was said about the misinformation and there was no negative impact on Leeson’s career, since he moved to Singapore shortly afterwards.
Leeson was to remain in Singapore, working for Baring Securities, for almost three years.
When Leeson arrived in Singapore in 1992, he was just 25 years old.
During 1992 it seems that Baring Futures (Singapore) was operating profitably, buying and selling futures and options on behalf of clients.
Leeson spent his mornings from Monday to Friday overseeing dealing at SIMEX and afternoons were spent reconciling the trades, working through the dealing slips.
On busy days the settlement process could take until midnight.
However, given the sometimes frenetic activity on the dealing floor at SIMEX, it was not unknown for errors to take place.
These were often no more than misunderstandings.
Normally the bank would accept the loss, on the assumption that the client had acted in good faith.
An error account, 99905, would be created in which the relevant transactions could be put until they had been resolved or else written off in the profit-and-loss account.
According to Leeson, he was asked by the London office of Barings to create another error account, to handle only trivial items arising in Singapore. Consequently, error account 88888 was created, this unusual number being chosen because in Chinese the number 8 is supposed to be lucky.
But within a few weeks, the London office of Barings decided that it needed to see all errors arising in Singapore and that its computers could cope with the numbers of errors being recorded.
Leeson was therefore asked to revert back to using only error account 99905.
The new error account 88888 therefore lay dormant.
According to Leeson, he first used it seriously on Friday 17 July 1992.
One of his employees had mis-understood a client’s orders and instead of buying 20 contracts had instead sold 20 contracts.
To rectify the mistake, Barings would need to buy 20 contracts to cancel out the original mistake and on top of that buy a further 20 contracts to satisfy the client’s order.
The hit to Barings’ profit-and-loss account amounted to about £20,000.
Because Leeson discovered the mistake on Friday 17 July after close of trading at SIMEX he was not able to rectify the situation until trading restarted on the following Monday, by which time the market price could have moved against him.
In order to hide the mistake Leeson made use of account 88888.
Leeson was reportedly annoyed that his superior in Singapore – Simon Jones, Operations Manager for South Asia – had not allowed him to employ sufficient qualified staff to cope with the expanding volume of work.
When Leeson asked Simon Jones for advice on resolving the 20 contracts, he advised him to sack the employee and inform Andrew Bayliss, Deputy Chairman of Baring Securities in London.
Leeson did not take Simon Jones’ advice and instead used the account 88888 to mask the error.
His justification was that he needed time to think how to hide the loss and also he wanted to protect his staff.
It is also possible that he was not keen for Barings in London to learn of this type of mistake, which could damage his reputation.
The problem was that Leeson found it remarkably easy to hide errors in this way, and this was facilitated by the fact that he was in charge of both the ‘front office’ and ‘back office’ for Barings Singapore operation:
Over the next few months, up to the end of 1992, he put over thirty errors into the 88888 account which although bad, was not catastrophic.
There were other errors in the London account, but he also put them into 88888 together with very large discrepancies, which he thought would get his newly recruited traders into trouble.
There was no hard and fast rule – an error’s was an error – but the traders knew that if they’d made a bad mistake they could refer it to Leeson who would resolve it by placing it in the 88888 account.
Nick Leeson (now)
Early Warning ignored
At the beginning of 1992, just before Nick Leeson’s deployment to Singapore, James Bax (Head of Singapore Operations) wrote to Andrew Fraser (Managing Director Baring Securities Far East), based in Hong Kong, to complain that:
“once again we are in danger of setting up a structure which will subsequently prove disastrous and we will succeed in losing either a lot of money or client goodwill, or probably both.”
He insisted Leeson should report solely to Simon Jones Operations Manager, South Asia).
It is clear that James Bax was concerned about the conflict of interest involved if there was not a clear demarcation between the ‘front office’ and the ‘back office’.
Bax’s recommendation was rejected, for Leeson reported directly to London once he began trading. In addition, Leeson was made basically a one-man show, permitted both to trade and to do all the paperwork and account for his investments.
This made Leeson, in effect, his own policeman, a practice nearly unheard of in the industry.
Leeson subsequently acknowledged that if the advice of Bax had been followed, such that Leeson had responsibility only for the settlements and accounting, he would not have been able to instruct the traders in the way he did, let alone indulge in trading himself.
Why did Barings ignore the advice of James Bax?
It is possible that Barings was keen to restrict costs.
If we are to believe Leeson’s version of events, he was having problems getting authority from Barings to recruit sufficient numbers of well qualified staff.
It was also possible, that over time, as the Singapore operation appeared to be making excellent profits, that Leeson’s superiors were reluctant to annoy Leeson by requesting him to curtail his trading activities which might have led to their ‘star trader’ resigning and moving to another broking firm.
According to Leeson:
“As my losses in Error Account 88888 began to creep up again from the zero balance I had managed to achieve in July, I found myself growing increasingly angry that I hadn’t shut the whole thing down and never used it again.
I began to trade aggressively to make the money back, and these trades never turned out the right way for me.”
A damming report on the scandal concludes that: Leeson managed to operate his 88888 account for three years without Barings’ senior management knowing about it yet they managed to unearth the account within hours of his disappearance.
The report alleged that Barings’ management structure was incompetent at every level, allowing Leeson a free hand to cripple the company.
10 senior managers at Barings were banned from the city fo periods between 4-6 years.
More details at: (http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/barings.collapse-wsja.pdf) (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/cover-up-sealed-the-fate-of-barings-1578217.html)
Note: Someone is determined to change history in favour of Fraser. His Wikipedia quotes: “In 1992, Fraser had written a memo expressing concern about Leeson’s power.” Oh! no! he didn’t. James bax wrote a warning memo to Fraser. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Fraser,_Baron_Fraser_of_Corriegarth)
Corriegarth Estate Wind Farm
22 December 2013: No vote donors caught in wind farm payments row
A Company involving two major donors to the pro-Union Better Together campaign has been accused of trying to short-change a Highlands community out of millions of pounds.
Stratherrick & Foyers Community Trust, on the southern shore of Loch Ness, is angry at North British Wind Energy Ltd (NBW) for offering to pay less than half the industry benchmark in “community benefit” compensation for a 23-turbine wind farm on the Corriegarth Estate
Corriegarth is the family estate of former Barings Bank stockbroker Andrew Fraser, who was last week revealed as one of the largest donors to Better Together, after giving £200,000.
Fraser first entered into an “option agreement and licence” with NBW in 2008. (The Herald)
The Singapore Trading Pit where Leeson excelled
Asia Frontier Capital Fund (investing in high growth Asian frontier economies)
Fraser has greatly reduced his commitments in recent years but retains an active interest in Asia Frontier Capital Ltd., a major financial securities investment company which manages subsidiary operations: the AFC Asia Frontier Fund, AFC Iraq Fund, and AFC Vietnam Fund.
The company manages a portfolio of stocks in high growth markets focusing on consumer, financial and infrastructure stocks with the goal of offering investors high returns.
Over the last 3 years it has yielded benefits to investors in excess of 42%, the best of any of the top 10 companies in the World.
AFC Asia Frontier Fund invests in listed equities from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Iraq, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
AFC Iraq Fund invests in companies from Iraq and Kurdistan listed on the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) or listed at any other Stock Exchange.
AFC Vietnam Fund invests in companies listed on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange or Hanoi Securities Trading Center.
Baron Alexander Andrew Macdonell Fraser is a shareholder and Director.
The company, headquartered in Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands is licensed by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC.)
More information can be found at: (https://readtiger.com/wkp/en/Asia_Frontier_Capital)
Fraser’s record of interests declared to the House of Lords provides a measure of his previous and current business activities.
Remenham Riverside Limited (field used for rental purposes during Henley Regatta) – Director: http://www.asiafrontiercapital.com/
Current Shareholding and Investment management
AGET Inc (food company) – Energia Iberica Ltd (oil) – Nomad Energy UK Ltd (oil) – Nordaq Energy plc (oil) – Maitland Institutional Services Ltd (fund manager) – Chenavari Capital Solutions Ltd (investment managers) – P2P Global Investments plc (equity investment) – Ferox Salar Fund plc (investment managers) – Bacit Ltd (“battle against cancer” investment trust) – NB Private Equity Partners Ltd (specialist fund managers) – John Laing Infrastructure Fund Ltd (investment in PPP projects) – GCP Infrastructure Investments Ltd (invests in UK infrastructure debt) – Harbourvest Partners (UK) Ltd (property) – Empiric Student Property plc (property) – Royal Dutch Shell plc (oil) – Persimmon plc (property) – Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (chemicals) – Unilever plc (chemicals) – GlaxoSmithKline plc (pharmaceuticals) – Shire plc (pharmaceuticals) – Entertainment One (media) – WPP plc (advertising) – BT Group plc (telecommunications) – Vodafone Group plc (telecommunications) – HSBC Holdings plc (banking) – Lloyds Banking Group plc (banking) – Beazley plc (insurance) – Aviva plc (insurance) – Prudential plc (insurance) – Hansteen Holdings plc (real estate investment trust) – ARM Holdings plc (semiconductor and software design) – Franklin Templeton Investment Management Limited (fund manager) – Marlborough Fund Managers Fund Ltd Special Situations (UK small companies fund) – Apple Inc (information technology) – Boeing Company (aerospace) – JPMorgan Chase & Co (banking) – Walt Disney Company (media and entertainment) – Johnson & Johnson Services Inc (medical equipment and pharmaceuticals) – Activision Blizzard Inc (media) – CVS Health Corporation (health) – John Wiley & Sons Inc (publishing) – Aramark Corporation (conglomerate) – Bayer AG (chemicals) – BB Biotech AG (biotechnology) – Nestle SA (food) – Polar Capital Holdings plc (investment management) – Halley Asian Prosperity Fund (value investing in Asia) – Standard Life Investments Ltd (fund manager) – S&W Investment Funds (investment management) – Brompton Bicycle Ltd (folding bicycles) – Pigeon Land Ltd (property investment) – Pigeon Sawston LLP (property investment) – Pigeon Shelford Ltd (property investment) – Pigeon Wickford Ltd (property investment) – Waterbeach Promotions Ltd (property investment) – Secure Income REIT plc (real estate investment)
Bank of Scotland plc 9.375% (banking) (interest ceased 25 July 2017) – LBG Capital 1 plc 11.04% (banking) (interest ceased 25 July 2017) – Lloyds Bank plc 13% (banking) (interest ceased 25 July 2017) – Pantheon Resources plc (oil) (interest ceased 25 July 2017) – Cadiz Inc (water provider) (interest ceased 25 July 2017) – Ashtead Group plc (equipment rental) (interest ceased 25 July 2017)
Compass Group plc (services) (interest ceased 25 July 2017)