Frank Casey has garnered broad capital, derivative markets and alternatives investment management knowledge over his 38-year investment career.A 9-year partner of Harry Markopolos in whistleblowing to the SEC on Bernie Madoff. Frank stresses transparency, liquidity, client control, and never compromising absolute honesty in every representation and execution. Upon leaving the US Army as an Airborne-Ranger Qualified Infantry Captain in 1974, he joined Merrill Lynch to serve as a risk manager specializing in equity, oil, and metals derivatives hedging until 1982. He then joined Prudential Securities to innovate bank risk management in the nascent mortgage origination/MBS-pipeline arena until 1992.
Casey also formed his own investment management firm and then served with Smith Barney before joining Rampart Investments, an equity options specialist manager, in early 1998. While there he met portfolio managers Harry Markopolos and Neil Chelo, and learned of a competitor manager named Bernard Madoff who was providing 12% net returns with almost no volatility – an unlikely possibility. Deemed a fraud by Casey, Markopolos, and Chelo, the three formed the core team that began blowing the whistle to the SEC on Madoff’s Ponzi scheme for nine years – to no avail. In late 2000, Casey recruited the fourth team member, investigative financial reporter Mike Ocrant, to expose Madoff, resulting in damning news articles in May of 2001; however, the SEC again failed to act. Regulators either couldn’t be bothered or didn’t want to understand the complex clues that pointed to the likelihood that Madoff was deceiving his clients. Casey, one of the now five-member “Fox Hounds” team, laments how trying to keep ahead of the competition is often trumping ethics in the investment business: “We must raise the ethical bar so experts do not look at their clients as prey,” he says.
Though Casey had left Rampart in 2001 to help build a hedge fund of funds tenfold to over $2 billion in six years, he continued to be instrumental to the nine-year investigation. Casey later uncovered intelligence that Madoff was trying to borrow money from a European bank as well as accepting highly leveraged client investments, a sure sign that his Ponzi scheme was beginning to crack. The team documented the likely growth of this financial cancer from discovery at approximately $3 billion in 1999 and continued to protocol to $50 billion in 2007.
In March 2008, Casey joined Fortune Group as President-USA to establish North American strategic joint ventures offering customized hedge fund portfolio management solutions for private wealth management groups, family offices, and institutions. He is currently a Board Member at the International Center for Financial and Corporate Ethics and Responsibility.
Casey is a frequent speaker to both the financial industry and university ethics centers on how the Madoff fraud unveiled financial industry due-diligence failures and regulatory incompetence, and discusses the need to set a higher benchmark of ethical standards in business.
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