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Symonds' savings may have evaporated in gale-force 'Storm'.

Byline: ANI

Sydney, Dec 18 (ANI): Australian all rounder Andrew Symonds, former Australian cricket team coach John Buchanan and other sport stars have been caught up in the collapse of financial planning group Storm Financial.

Many of Storm's 13,500 clients nationally, from the Torres Strait to Geelong, have had their savings wiped out this year and some stand to lose their houses due to an aggressive stock market investment strategy, which relied on using high levels of debt.

Plaintiff law firm Slater and Gordon has already signed up 70 clients for a prospective class action lawsuit for misleading and deceptive behaviour, and is getting inquiries daily as Storm clients themselves get margin calls from their banks, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Commonwealth Bank's margin lending division, Colonial, and Challenger Financial Services have frozen the billion dollar share-market funds they ran on behalf of Storm.

A number of cricketers and rugby players, both past and present, are clients of the financial planning group.

The firm, founded by Townsville-based husband and wife team Emmanuel and Julie Cassimatis, has a "winning" formula says Buchanan, which he likens to the leadership of Australian cricket captains Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh and Mark Taylor.

Symonds' manager Matt Fearon declined to comment on the financial affairs of the all-rounder, "It's not something I would want to comment about," said Fearon today.

"Andrew's financial management is private," The SMH quoted Fearon, as saying.

While the likes of Symonds have the earning capacity to overcome losses from their exposure to Storm, thousands of its other clients are not so fortunate.

Disabled Vietnam war veteran and pensioner, Steve Reynolds, was encouraged to borrow against his home to invest in the stockmarket, and take out margin loans as well. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Dec 18, 2008
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