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Laureola Advisors expands Australia presence

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Life settlements fund manager Laureola Advisors is scaling up its presence in Australia, two years after it launched a “soft entrance”.

The business says it has opened a Sydney office on Martin Place and Nathan Wares has joined as MD Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Wares has more than 25 years’ experience in funds management, investment banking, financial markets and private banking, including as a director of Westpac and St George Private Bank managing people and ultra high net worth client portfolios.

Laureola Advisors Director John Swallow says Mr Wares is a “valued” appointment for the US-based specialist asset manager, which is focused exclusively on life settlements, expanding on its initial discussions in Australia with investors and family offices.

“No other asset in the current marketplace is uncorrelated to the wider financial markets and we expect strong interest from super funds, institutions and cashed-up SMSFs looking for alternative defensive assets,” Mr Swallow said.

He says a life settlement describes the transaction where an insured person sells a life insurance policy to an investor for a cash sum, with the investor to take over the obligation to pay premiums on the policy and collecting the death benefit when the insured eventually dies.

The legal basis for this was confirmed by a US Supreme Court ruling in 1911 and the life settlement market is well established in the US, he said.

Laureola Advisors says life settlement funds pay policyholders three or four times the amount offered by the issuing life company to surrender the policy.

“A well-structured fund of life settlements, which derives its returns from maturities as opposed to artificial accounting gains, is expected to deliver positive returns in all market conditions,” Laureola Advisors says.