13 January, 2007

Altamer





Altamer.

One of my first posts contained the short question: "Altamer. Is there Russian money involved?”

A few days after it appeared, I got an email. It was from one of the managers at Altamer. It read, “I looked at your blog site today. There is a reference to Altamer and Russian money. This kind of unfounded gossip is damaging and unfair, can you remove it please? --

I did not think too much of it. The Eggletons are the reputed owners of Altamer. I do not know the Eggletons. I never met either of them as far as I know. I had no hard facts. I had heard two things. The first was that Altamer had a lot of very rich Russian guests. The second was gossip that Mike Eggleton had been heard to say how easy it was to make money in Russia. So, I did not bother with the email.

Then, last week a correspondent sent me a link. It was to a Times Online article. It explained that Mike Eggleton had been the Merrill Lynch Moscow manager up until August 2006. He was by profession an investment adviser. He had left Merrill Lynch and gone to join Trust Investment Bank. This is a Russian investment bank. It advises Russians with a lot of money on how to make it safe and grow at the same time. That is what investment advisers do for a living. It is a perfectly legitimate way to earn money in Russia. Some of them also notoriously advise people with suspect money how to make it clean. We all read the press about Russia. There is a lot of money in Russia that needs somewhere to be washed. I am not suggesting there is the slightest evidence that Eggleton does this for a living. It is just that this must be a concern for those of us who have to make our homes here.

My interest was rekindled. So, I did a Google search. I found an interesting item on the Altamer website about their Russian villa.

I also found the Trust Investment Bank website. It explains in detail Mike Eggleton’s background, and in particular his long and no doubt lucrative connections with Moscow. He has apparently been working there as an investment adviser since 1995. Trust Investment Bank is so proud of its acquisition of Mr Eggleton that it has another article about him on its website.

Oddly, I have not been able to find a single photograph of Mr Eggleton. His wife’s photograph, on the other hand, is all over the Internet. She is very easy to look at.

Anguilla has come a long way. Even Russian money would appear to find lucrative investment opportunities in our little rock of an island. I wonder what the advantage is for them? And, are we not entitled to ask how an unprepossessing young man from the USA came to be so rich after a few years in Russia? And, if it is not his money that is being used to develop Altamer, will we be embarrassed in a year or two when the true source of the funds comes out?






8 comments:

  1. Every foreign investor should be subject to oversight. We cannot leave it to Ministers. They welcome any investor who will contribute "campaign funds" before, during, and after the elections. We cannot leave it to the civil servants. They work in secret and we do not know what pressure they are subject to. Also, their findings and recommendations are secret. The Constitution must provide for some independent public oversight board to protect future generations from being overrun by foreign mafia. Applications for licences must be approved in public, or we are lost.

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  2. What about the six story building practically on the beach. Is it true that government has approved? I thought this was supposed to be a big no-no.

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  3. I understand all is not lost. I understand Government has not yet approved the 200 extra acres. Does anyone know what is happening?

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  4. I agree that it would be a monstrosity if it were true that any beach-side hotel in Anguilla had been given planning permission to construct a six-story building. It would be one quarter as high as the highest point on the island.

    I have enquired of one of my planning friends. I am assured that there is no application by Altamer to build a six-story building. Certainly, no permission has been granted for such a monstrosity.

    IDM

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  5. For a November 2005 newspaper article on the proposed new development, see http://www.anguillian.com/article/articleview/2998/1/140/

    From this, it would appear that Hubert Hughes is also on board with the new extension to the hotel.

    IDM

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  6. >The first was that Altamer had a lot of very rich Russian guests.

    Total rubbish. Altamer has lots of rich guests, almost all Americans.

    >Every foreign investor should be subject to oversight
    Of course, which they are. GOA and the Crown do extensive background checks including criminal and civil litigation.

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  7. I'm curious who gave you the right to take the Altamer photos? A judge should know about the DMCA and the need to seek permission, which I doubt you did.

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  8. First, the Altamer photos are not subject to a copyright claim by anyone.
    Second, even if they were, which they are not, the claim would be worthless as the photos are published on the www and are in the public domain and are there for anyone to use.
    Third, even if the photos are subject to copyright, which they are not, I did not use them for profit and my use would be permitted.
    IDM

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