Jacob Rees-Mogg’s investment firm has been called out for exploiting the coronavirus crisis after advertising “super normal returns”.
Somerset Capital Management (SCM), which manages investments in emerging markets, told clients that the dive in stock market valuations around the world made “excellent entry points for investors”.
Fund manager Mark Asquith told people looking to make a quick buck from the economic downturn:
“Market dislocations of this magnitude happen rarely, perhaps once or twice in a generation, and have historically provided excellent entry points for investors,” SCM fund manager Mark Asquith wrote in a note to clients.
“History has shown us that super normal returns can be made during this type of environment.”
Rees-Mogg, the Leader of the House of Commons, co-founded SCM and continues to hold a 15 per cent stake in the business.
He stepped back from day-to-day work at the firm when he became an MP in 2010 and quit his role as part-time adviser when he became a minister in 2019.
He reportedly received a payout of about £1m from the business last year.
“Nobody should be seeking to take advantage of this crisis”
According to Guardian reports the company has taken advantage of the downturn by investing in medical insurers, hospital operators and firms specialising in medical technology and equipment.
Keir Starmer, the new leader of the Labour party, said: “Nobody should be seeking to take advantage of this crisis. We should all be asking ourselves what we can do for our country and each other.”
The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, said: “This attitude is about as sick as it comes. Profit seeking from people’s suffering is nearly as low as you can get. When we come through this we need a windfall tax on the profiteers.”