SEBI allows 123 alternative funds-AIFs to operate

SEBI have 123 funds registered as AIFs. Of these, around 34 entities got the market regulator's approval to operate so far this year, 67 in 2013 and the remaining 22 in 2011


Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has allowed as many as 123 entities to set up alternative investment funds (AIFs), the newly created class of pooled-in investment vehicles for real estate, private equity and hedge funds, in less than two and half-years.


Since July 2012, SEBI have 123 AIFs have been registered with it.


Of these, around 34 entities got the market regulator's approval to operate so far this year (January-November), 67 in 2013 and the remaining 22 in 2011.


The AIFs that have registered with SEBI in November are Religare Dynamic Trust, Indus Way Emerging Market Fund and Carpediem Capital Partners Fund.


Singular India Opportunities Trust was registered in October.


The regulator had notified in May 2012, the guidelines for this new class of market intermediaries. AIFs are basically funds established or incorporated in India for the purpose of pooling in capital from Indian and foreign investors for investing as per a pre-decided policy.


Under SEBI guidelines, AIFs can operate broadly in three categories. The SEBI rules apply to all AIFs, including those operating as private equity funds, real estate funds and hedge funds, among others.


The Category-I AIFs are those funds that get incentives from the government, SEBI or other regulators and include Social Venture Funds, Infrastructure Funds, Venture Capital Funds and SME Funds.


The Category-III, AIFs are those trading with a view to making short-term returns and it includes hedge funds, among others.


The Category-II AIFs can invest anywhere in any combination but are prohibited from raising debt, except for meeting their day-to-day operational requirements. These AIFs include private equity funds, debt funds or fund of funds, as also all others falling outside the ambit of above two other categories.


What You Should Know about the 'THRIVE Experience'

Getting paid to live the "Ultra Premium" life sure sounds nice it's but probably not attainable for most


Get paid to live the “Ultra Premium” life.

That’s how Le-Vel sells the THRIVE experience, an 8-week “premium lifestyle transformation plan” that incorporates a regimen of pills, shakes, and body patches to achieve “peak physical and mental levels.”

(A screenshot taken from one of the videos.)

Just pitch the product to others and take it yourself, and the company says you can be on your way to earning more than $1,000 in your first two weeks, $800 toward a monthly car payment, as well as “lifestyle getaways” to places like Las Vegas, Napa Valley and the Caribbean (ooh la la).

In one promotional video, money literally rains down on the product’s name. In another, glowing over-the-top testimonials abound, including one woman who says she “shrunk 13-and-a-half inches” in three weeks using the products. And on the product’s website, there is euphoriant praise. Writes one Patricia Crouse:

Well this morning I woke up feeling wonderful. Something I haven’t felt in about 15 yrs. I took my last sample of “Thrive” and went singing to to (sic) Dr’s office to have my BP checked. … My BP had not lowered but I was in such a good mood the nurse and I didn’t care.

One of the promotional videos claims that, “Everyone that experiences THRIVE raves about it.” But consumers should consider the very real possibility that the same people raving are the same people selling. (That is, after all, how you make the big bucks and end up in the tropics.) This, even though Le-Vel says it’s in no way doling out medical advice. States a disclaimer on the company’s policies, terms and conditions page:

Any personal testimonies and opinions relating to Le-Vel Brands LLC and are not considered as medical advice and should not be taken as such. The Le-Vel product line is not intended to diagnose, cure, prevent or treat any illness, disease or injury.

Presumably, Le-Vel runs such a disclaimer so that when THRIVE fails to deliver what thousands of testimonials (the company’s estimate) say it will, Le-Vel won’t be liable.


There’s a similar disclaimer regarding the advertised earnings and financial incentives (emphasis added):

The earnings of Le-Vel Brand Promoters relating to Le-Vel Brands LLC and are not necessarily a representation of the income, if any, that a Le-Vel Brand Promoter can or will earn through his or her participation in the Le-Vel Compensation Plan. Any figures should not be considered as guarantees or projections of your actual earnings of profits.

Clearly not as sexy as the images of jet skis, luxury cars and tropical waters that we see in the videos. But the bottom line here is that you have to put in a lot of legwork and potentially a lot of money (the THRIVE packages range from $100 to $300) to net a profit.

For instance, to qualify for the $1,000 in the first two weeks, you’d have to get four people to sign up for auto-ship deliveries and four more to enroll as fellow promoters whose packages need to total at least 1600QV (QV stands for “qualified volume” and although the website does not make clear what that means, suffice to say it’s a lot).

It’s also worth the tenuous agreement Le-Vel has with its so-called “promoters.”


According to the company’s policy on unauthorized returns:

Should a Brand Promoter refuse delivery of any Le-Vel shipment or request to return any previously purchased product for a refund, such request will be deemed as a voluntary resignation.

Ouch. So upon closer inspection, there’s no guarantee that the product will work or that you’ll make even the slightest bit of money. In fact, you may end up saddled with the costs of products you’re not allowed to return if you want to remain in the game, as the last policy pointed out.

When earning your fortune depends on constant recruitment, you may find yourself entangled in a possible pyramid scheme. Know the red flags.



Red Cross’ Own Employees Doubt the Charity’s Ethics: Internal Survey

Survey results obtained by ProPublica also show a crisis of trust in the charity’s senior leadership


A survey of American Red Cross employees shows a crisis of trust in the charity's leadership and deep internal doubts about the Red Cross' commitment to ethical conduct.

A summary of the survey results, obtained by ProPublica and NPR, was released internally in September. The survey was completed by a bit more than half of the Red Cross' roughly 25,000 employees.

In response to the statement, "I trust the senior leadership of the American Red Cross," just 39 percent responded favorably.

In response to the statement, "The American Red Cross shows a commitment to ethical business decisions and conduct," 61 percent responded favorably. That means about 4 in 10 respondents doubt the ethics of the venerable charity.

"Candidly, the results could have been stronger," Chief Executive Gail McGovern acknowledged in an email to employees. She also called the Red Cross' score on ethics "very high" and identified ethics as one of "our strengths."

During McGovern's six-year tenure, the charity has faced periodic budget deficits and is in the midst of the latest in a series of layoffs. The Red Cross has seen shrinking revenue from its blood business and rising pension costs. In the last year, the charity's fundraising efforts have dwindled without a large national disaster to help bring in donations. The charity finished its last fiscal year with a $70 million deficit and 1,200 workers are expected to lose their jobs over the next year.

Also, ProPublica and NPR reported last month that officials who helped lead the charity's response to Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac believed they were undermined by senior leadership. Resources were diverted for public relations purposes by national headquarters, hurting the relief efforts. Internal assessments concluded the charity wasn't prepared to effectively respond to a large storm.

Current and former officials said the Red Cross' relief efforts also suffered from attrition in its ranks of experienced volunteer disaster responders, many driven away by a series of reorganizations by McGovern, who has moved to centralize decision-making.

The employee survey, which was conducted by IBM, notes that other companies scored better on the questions about trust. About 20 percent of respondents at other companies expressed concern about their organization's ethics, compared with nearly 40 percent for the Red Cross survey.

Asked about the survey, Red Cross spokeswoman Suzy DeFrancis said it was the first of its kind for the charity.

"It is regrettable that you are taking work that we are doing to improve employee engagement and using it to criticize us," DeFrancis wrote in an email. DeFrancis' declined to comment on McGovern's characterization of the survey.

The survey suggests that the layoffs and reorganization have taken their toll on the morale of the Red Cross' paid staff. Just 35 percent said they "feel supported during organizational change" at the charity.

The survey also shows that employees are proud to be associated with the Red Cross itself, apart from the current leadership: 83 percent of respondents said they were proud to work at the charity.

But most of the survey respondents do not believe the Red Cross has a bright future.

In response to the statement, "The senior leadership of the American Red Cross has communicated a vision of the future that motivates me," 39 percent responded favorably. That compares with an average 61 percent of respondents from other companies in response to the same question.

And just 42 percent responded favorably to the statement, "I believe the American Red Cross has an outstanding future."

Can you help us with our Red Cross reporting? Learn how to share a tip or email [email protected].



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