* Three money managers claim Powerball prize
* Firm may stand to profit $2.1 mln in management fees
* Winner of ticket is in question
By Ashley Lau
Nov. 29 The winner of Connecticut's
largest-ever Powerball jackpot was in question on Tuesday amid
uncertainty over who purchased the ticket.
Three Connecticut money managers, Tim Davidson, Brandon
Lacoff and Greg Skidmore, of Greenwich-based Belpointe Asset
Management, claimed the state's $254 million jackpot prize -
coming forward with the winning ticket at a press conference on
But Thomas Gladstone, a Greenwich, Connecticut, resident
who said he is a close friend of Lacoff and has known him for
30 years, told Reuters on Tuesday that the actual prize belongs
to one of the money managers' clients.
"I called him up and had him on the phone, while I was
still on the phone with the guy from London, and he said,
'we're the trustee for the winner,'" Gladstone said in a
He said Lacoff told him their firm, Belpointe, would be the
investment adviser for the trust.
Gladstone did not elaborate on why he chose to speak with
reporters on the topic.
If Belpointe, which oversees money for high net worth
investors, does manage the assets for the trust holding the
prize money, then the firm could stand to profit about $2.1
million from the winning ticket, based on an annual management
fee of as much as 2 percent of the assets.
Requests for comment from the three money managers were
referred to the trio's lawyer, Jason Kurland. Repeated calls to
Kurland were not returned.
Calls to Connecticut Lottery Corp were not returned.
Davidson, Lacoff and Skidmore formed a trust, according to
Gladstone, after the lottery numbers were first announced and
before they claimed the prize. The three money managers are
trustees, with the owner of the trust being one of the firm's
clients, said Gladstone.
Gladstone said after receiving a call from a reporter at a
London-based newspaper on Monday evening, he called Lacoff and
asked him about the lottery.
A Belpointe portfolio manager, Chris Sandys, told Reuters
"this is a client matter" and that he was not permitted to talk
about the situation.
"Our policy is strict secrecy with our clients," he said.
Belpointe, founded by Skidmore and Lacoff in 2007, has
about $82 million in assets under management, according to
Securities and Exchange Commission documents.
The three waited almost four weeks before coming forward
with the winning ticket after the numbers were pulled on Nov.
After taxes, the winner would reap about $104 million.
The three have a long history of money management
experience. Skidmore previously worked for Citigroup's
Smith Barney wealth division, while Davidson previously worked
at UBS Financial , both in Connecticut,
according to SEC documents.
The managers' firm is based in Greenwich, Connecticut, a
town with an average per capita income more than three times
that of the national average of $27,041, according to U.S.
Census Bureau figures.
The jackpot winner would have had until the end of April to
claim the prize. After that, the ticket would have expired,
according to the state's lottery rules.
While smaller lottery prizes can be redeemed more
anonymously at any state lottery retail location, prizes of
$5,000 or more require the winner to go to the the Connecticut
Lottery's headquarters in Rocky Hill, Connecticut.
The winning digits were 12, 14, 34, 39, 46, with a
Powerball number 36. The prize was the 12th-largest jackpot in
Powerball history, according to the Connecticut Lottery Corp.
An employee at the Shippan Point BP gas station in
Stamford, where the winning ticket was sold, said he has seen
in an increase in the number of people stopping by the station
to buy lottery tickets since the winner was announced.
Vasil Golodinskii, who has worked at the station for three
years, said he and the other seven employees who work out of
the shop are trying to determine who sold the winning ticket.
"We're trying to figure it out," he said, noting that he
and his colleagues sell hundreds of tickets each round. "Only
the customer can tell us."