INTERNATIONAL: Ansdell Group to resolve Albanian pyramid crisis

TIRANA: The Albanian government has appointed the Ansdell Group to advise on media and investor relations as it attempts to dismantle the pyramid investment schemes which led to civil unrest in the country last year.

TIRANA: The Albanian government has appointed the Ansdell Group to

advise on media and investor relations as it attempts to dismantle the

pyramid investment schemes which led to civil unrest in the country last

year.



David Masters, a political adviser at Ansdell Consulting, the group’s

strategic communications firm, has left for the Albanian capital of

Tirana, where he will work for at least the next six months.



Masters, a former journalist and now a political adviser, will work with

the Government and its advisers, as a spokesman for local and

international media.



’Most Albanians having invested - and lost - in the pyramid schemes, our

job is to help them understand what happened to their funds and how to

avoid this kind of catastrophe in the future,’ said Ansdell Consulting

managing director Fred Harrison.



Pyramid-style investment funds sprouted throughout Eastern and Central

Europe after the fall of communism. They were specially prominent in

Albania.



When Albania’s pyramid schemes began to collapse last year, the country

descended into anarchy. Around 17 schemes remain, and are being

administered by accountants Deloitte and Touche and Coopers and

Lybrand.



The accountants are looking to sell assets such as factories owned by

the pyramid funds, to help pay off investors. Where funds have no

assets, investors must be paid what money is left.



Harrison said: ’We will help maximise the sale value of assets and at

the same time manage investors expectations on the returns from these

sales.’



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