Paradise Papers: Tycoon made $41m from ‘people’s fund’

Jean Claude-Bastos

November 7, 2017, An entrepreneur charged with managing the oil wealth of the struggling African state of Angola was paid more than $41m in just 20 months, leaked documents reveal.

The payments were made via a complex web of companies set up in the offshore jurisdiction of Mauritius.

Jean-Claude Bastos also used his position to help set up large investment deals he stands to further profit from, the Paradise Papers show.

All sides deny any wrongdoing.

Like many oil rich countries, Angola set up a sovereign wealth fund to invest the proceeds of its natural resource wealth. Similar schemes have been used by other countries to help ensure a steady income for future generations.

Angola is wracked by corruption, suffers extreme poverty and has one of the highest child mortality rates in the world.

The fund, Fundo Soberano De Angola (FSDEA), which began with $5bn (£3.75bn) in 2011, was mired in controversy from the start, after the then Angolan President Eduardo dos Santos’ son, 39-year-old Jose Filomeno, was appointed to head it up.

Jean-Claude Bastos, sometimes also known as Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, a Swiss-Angolan and close friend of the then president’s son, was chosen as the fund’s asset manager.

Typically, a fund of this size would spread the risk of investment among several asset managers, along with the fees it pays, said one expert.

Paradise Papers – Tax secrets of the ultra-rich

However, Mr Bastos was given responsibility for investing almost all of the fund’s money, and was paid accordingly. Today, his company Quantum Global Investments Africa Management, manages about 85% of it.

One expert described the situation as “unusual”. Andrew Bauer, an authority on sovereign wealth funds, told the BBC: “Funds want to hedge the risk. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket.”

In a statement, the FSDEA told the BBC the appointment of Mr Bastos’ company to manage the fund followed “an objective process”. The firm was selected, it said, because of its “exemplary performance on previous mandates with the Angolan authorities”.

The fund also said giving near total control of investments to one asset manager was part of its policy for the first 18 months only.

Documents seen by the BBC as part of the Paradise Papers investigation show the fund paid management fees of more than $90m (£67.5m) to Mr Bastos’ Mauritius-based QG Investments Africa Management. This occurred over a 20-month period between May 2014 and the end of 2015.


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