A David Ross speaks
An Auckland chartered accountant has told NBR ONLINE what it means to share his name with Wellington-based accused ponzi operator David Ross, of Ross Asset Management.
This David Ross has spent his entire career building up a good name in the business community and is concerned people might be confused as to who is who.
Mr Ross comes from solid commercial pedigree – his father Sir Lewis Ross, was a former chairman of the Bank of New Zealand.
He built his career as a chartered accountant but started offering specialist services in private practice in the late 1970s and now works mainly as a professional director.
He says some people have called his office thinking he was the other David Ross.
But Mr Ross says he has been around long enough that most people know him and know he isn't involved with finance companies.
"And if they saw a photo, they'd see I don't have much hair and I don't have a moustache. So we look somewhat different."
Doesn't like being mistaken for Wellington Ross
However, he does not like the idea people could mistake him for his Wellington-based namesake.
"My late father was pretty well known around the corporate world. He probably would have been more upset than I am if he'd been around."
Mr Ross has spread himself wide across New Zealand's business community, being involved with a range of businesses in the media, science and technology sectors.
He started the Rialto cinema chain with his business partner in 1990.
"We built it up over 15 years and sold it to some Americans in 2005.
"Also with my partner in the film world we've got the Bridgeway on the North Shore, the new Monterey in Howick, which we opened last Christmas, and we've got a cinema in Tauranga."
Mr Ross part-owns Sky's Rialto channel, and started the Arts channel, running it for some years until Sky bought it from him.
He is involved in film distribution, chairs a biotech company called KODE Biotech, is on the board of successful software company Konnect and is the director of a health supplements exporter.
Mr Ross is also a trustee of the arts foundation, and provides a litigation support service, in which he gives evidence as an expert witness in damages cases.
He says reputation is paramount when standing in front of a High Court judge, and with all the business ventures he's involved in, it's important his credibility is intact.
"Your name is your biggest asset."
Ross Asset Management
The other David Ross – who has recently come out of hospital where he was being treated as a compulsory patient under the Mental Health Act – is accused of running his investment firm Ross Asset Management as a ponzi scheme.
Receivers are combing through RAM's accounts but are not recovering much of the $450 million invested in the firm.
More details about that David Ross and Ross Asset Management companies appear elswehere in NBR ONLINE and in this week's NBR Print edition.