Florian Homm

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Florian Homm (born 7 October 1959) is a German former businessman and investment banker.[1][2] Charged with investment fraud in the U.S., he disappeared in 2007. He was arrested in Italy in 2013 and faced extradition to the United States.[3] He was subsequently released and currently resides in Germany.[4]

Early life[edit]

Florian Homm was born on 7 October 1959 in Oberursel, a small town near Frankfurt, Germany. His father was self made and had set up a large business including that of welding pipes and installing bathroom fittings, something that did not interest young Florian. [5] Instead, Florian was influenced by his great uncle Josef Neckermann, a successful businessman at whose mansion the entire family would attend weekly gatherings every Sunday. In an interview with DW, Homm described being impressed by his great uncle and with the idea of being wealthy.[5] In 1981, Homm went to USA for the first time as part of the German basketball team. He subsequently got selected at Harvard and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1987. Subsequently, he worked for Merrill Lynch, Fidelity Investments and Julius Bär.[5]

Investment activities[edit]

Homm began his working career in finance at Merrill Lynch and thereafter worked for Fidelity Investments and Julius Bär before founding his own company.[6] In an interview with DW describing his early impressions of the finance industry, Homm described that he was never interested in the mathematical formulae behind investing. He felt that institutions were taking the wrong approach and needed to take a more holistic approach to investing in stocks.[5]

At Fidelity, Homm worked for and trained under fund manager Peter Lynch. He returned to Frankfurt where he served as the senior vice president at the German division of Julius Bär and later, as managing partner of Tweedy Brown.[5] In 1993, Homm founded his own company Value Management & Research AG (VMR) in Frankfurt. His company went public in 1998 and made most of its fortune in the period from 1998 to 2000. By December 1999, the company's value had risen seven fold, while the dot com bubble was getting inflated. He drew attention due to his personal charm, brashness and glamour, with some of his stocks known informally as "Homm stocks".[5]

In 2004 he invested in stock of the German soccer club Borussia Dortmund, through his Cayman Island-based company. With a financial commitment of 20 million euros, he basically saved the club and also contributed to the overthrow of the club management by means of the conditions attached to the payment.[7]

In 2005 he co-founded Absolute Capital Management Holdings (ACMH), a hedge-fund company incorporated in the Cayman Islands,[6] which was listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange. During this time, Homm enjoyed a great deal of media attention due to the high yields of the hedge fund and was named Hedge Fund Leader of The Year by the investment magazine Alternative Investment News. ACMH managed around three billion euros at the peak of this period.[8]

According to his autobiography, Homm in 2006 profitably invested in the Berlin brothel Artemis.[9]

Homm again gained much media attention in 2007 when he demanded that the German telecommunications provider freenet AG be split up. In addition, he also took a stake in the TUI travel agency.

Resignation, charges and pursuit[edit]

In September 2007, Homm abruptly announced his resignation as the head of Absolute Capital Management and disappeared.

After his resignation, Homm was accused by the remaining management of his company of having valued many of the assets much higher than their actual value. He was supposedly on the run with over 150 million euro.[8] The Absolute Capital Management stock lost 93% of its value up until June 2008.[10]

On 25 February 2011, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed civil charges against Florian Homm and Todd M. Ficeto. According to the complaint, Homm's various companies engaged in secretly coordinated bogus trades of penny stocks in order to drive up the stocks' prices and thereby the value of his hedge fund, a technique known as "portfolio pumping".[11]

According to a private investigator, betrayed investors have put out a bounty on Homm. Any information leading to his capture will be rewarded with 1.5 million euros.[12] Investigators are following up on several leads. It is suspected, among other things, that Homm is in Venezuela because a few months before his getaway he was shot in Caracas. In the official story, ordinary muggers tried to steal his watch. Presumably, Homm was already preparing his getaway then.[8]

On March 6, 2013, Homm was criminally charged with investment fraud in federal court in Los Angeles. According to the complaint, he had caused $200 million in losses. On March 8, he was arrested in Florence, Italy,[13] where he had gone to meet his ex-wife and daughter, [3] who live in Florida. The Italian police had been tipped off by the FBI.[14]

Homm's lawyers fought extradition by pointing to his suffering from multiple sclerosis. After an expert testified that the disease was at an early to intermediate stage and did not prevent incarceration, the Court of Cassation in Rome ruled on January 9, 2014 that he could be extradited.[14] On June 23, 2014 Homm was released from prison in Italy, after a court ruled that the period he could be held for extradition had expired. He returned to his native Germany.[15] Germany does not extradite German citizens.

Books[edit]

In 2012, as part of the planned publication of his book (English title: Rogue Financier), whose profit is being donated by Homm to the Liberia Renaissance Foundation – a Swiss charitable association aimed at improving the education and opportunities for advancement of Liberian school children –,[16] Florian Homm took part in interviews with the German publications Süddeutsche Zeitung,[17] Stern[18] and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung[19] on 7 November 2012, in which he described his rise, fall and new start. On the same day, the Financial Times Deutschland[20] and the German economic magazine Wirtschaftswoche[21] published an interview in which he denied most of the accusations against him.

Parallel to articles in The New York Times[22] and Financial Times,[23] in which he spoke about his return to Germany, Homm published his book in English (title: Rogue Financier). Meanwhile, in Germany, in the week beginning on 19 November 2012, his autobiography was 27th in the Spiegel best-seller list,[24] 11th in the Manager Magazine best-seller list January 2013,[25] and was listed as one of the 35 best non-fiction books in 2012[26] by lovely books – the largest online German literary portal.[27] It was also among the top 40 best-selling books of the year in the Manager Magazine’s business-book best-seller list, 2012[28]

  • Florian Homm: Kopf Geld Jagd. FinanzBuch Verlag, München 2012, ISBN 978-3-89879-788-7
  • Florian Homm: Rogue Financier: The adventures of an Estranged Capitalist. FinanzBuch Verlag, München 2012, ISBN 978-3-86248-425-6
  • Florian Homm: 225 Years in Hell: The Conversion of a Rogue Financier, FinanzBuch Verlag, München 2016

Personal life[edit]

His great uncle is the former German mail-order tycoon, dressage competitor, and sports functionary Josef Neckermann.

Florian Homm is 6-foot 7 inches tall and a former German junior national league basketball player. In the mid 1980s, he played basketball in the German national league for the Osnabrücker BC Giants club.[29]

Florian Homm is one of the founders of the global health initiative Maximum Impact Medicine,[30] dedicated to fighting life-threatening diseases in third world countries.

He was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000; his sister died from the disease in 2006.

Upon his release from Italian prison in June 2014, Homm speaks openly about his faith and conversion. He spoke at the College for Applied Management[31][32] (Hochschule für Angewandtes Management, Erding) before approximately 300 students in November 2014. Homm has been interviewed extensively on his lifestyle change and conversion.[33][34] He expresses his devotion to the Holy Mother and his mission in a YouTube video.[35] Homm says his life is dedicated to make a little book containing messages of the Holy Mother better known.[35] Homm states these inspiring messages changed and saved his life during prison in Italy.[36][37] His personal testimony and devotion to the Holy Mother, as well as several charitable projects, are available for public scrutiny on his personal website.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UNESCO.ORG | Communities | Permanent Delegations". Erc.unesco.org. Retrieved 2010-10-16. 
  2. ^ Armitstead, Louise; Davey, Jenny (26 November 2006). "Fund manager shot in Caracas". The Times. London. 
  3. ^ a b Ewing, Jack (March 10, 2013). "Hedge Fund Manager Found and Jailed in Fraud". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ Ewing, Jack. "Florian Homm, Toppled Financier, Finds Safe Harbor in Germany". Retrieved January 20, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Playboy millionaire or saint? The case of Florian Homm (Documentary) - 13 january 2017". DW Deutsche Welle. 
  6. ^ a b "First Day of Dealings | Absolute Capital Man (ACMH)". www.trustnet.com. 3 March 2006. Retrieved 2017-04-10. 
  7. ^ Röckenhaus, Freddie. "Entmachtung in drei Schritten" (in German). SZ.de. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  8. ^ a b c Brambusch, Jens. "Die Welt jagt Florian Homm;" (in German). FTD.de. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  9. ^ Florian, Homm (2012). Rogue Financier: The Adventures of an Estranged Capitalist. FinanzBuch Verlag. p. 207. ISBN 9783862484249. 
  10. ^ Alpert, Bill. "A Money Manager's Ultimate Fight Game ;". Barrons.com. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  11. ^ "Press Release: SEC Charges Securities Professionals and Traders in International Hedge Fund Portfolio Pumping Scheme". SEC.gov. 24 February 2011. 
  12. ^ Brambusch, Jens. "Ermittlungen eingestellt: Florian Homm bedroht seine Jäger;". FTD.de. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  13. ^ "Fugitive Fund Manager Stuffed Underwear With Cash, Fled". Bloomberg.com. March 11, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "Milliardenjongleur Homm wird an USA ausgeliefert". Stern (in German). 10 January 2014. 
  15. ^ Absolute Capital Founder Homm Released From Italian Jail Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  16. ^ Giersch, Thorsten (8 November 2012). "Selbst ein reformierter Pitbull ist immer noch einer" (in German). Handelsblatt. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  17. ^ Boehringer, Simone. "Ich war ein Schwachmat". SZ.de. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  18. ^ Wolf-Doettinchem, Lorenz. "Gier ist nicht geil". stern.de. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  19. ^ Knop, Carsten. "Der Leerverkauf seines Lebens". faz.de. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  20. ^ Clausen, Sven Oliver; Brambusch, Jens. "Ein Phantom kehrt zurück". ftd.de. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  21. ^ Reimer, Hauke. "Spektakuläre Rückkehr". wiwo.de. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  22. ^ Ewing, Jack (16 November 2012). "After 5 Years of Hiding, a Banker Reappears". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  23. ^ "I have chosen the bright side". ft.com. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  24. ^ Buchreport express, Vol. 38, ISSN 1615-0732, p. 30
  25. ^ Buchreport express, Vol 43, ISSN 1615-0732, p. 37
  26. ^ "The winners are ..." lovelybooks.de. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  27. ^ "About us". lovelybooks.de. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  28. ^ Buchreport, Vol. 44, ISSN 1615-0724, p. 70
  29. ^ Schimke; Martin (1983), "1981-2 Osnabrook Archives", Basketball Bundesliga, Düsseldorf, Germany, pp. 232–234  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ "Maximumimpactmedicine.org". Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  31. ^ "Finanzhai" Homm und die Ethik" Archived 8 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine. (in German). Br.de. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  32. ^ "How a former IRA man ‘saved’ Germany’s ‘anti-Christ financier’" irishtimes.com. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  33. ^ "Vom Erzkapitalisten zum Erzchristen" (in German). sueddeutsche.de. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  34. ^ "Vom Saulus zum Paulus - Wie ein rücksichtsloser Finanzhai sein Leben umkrempelte" (in German). The Huffingtonpost. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
  35. ^ a b "Florian Homm's Message For You" Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  36. ^ "Florian Homm's official website" Retrieved 2015-03-16
  37. ^ Retrieved 2015-03-16
  38. ^ "Florian Homm - Florian Homm - Rogue Financier - Official Website". Florian Homm. 

External links[edit]