- It turned out that the 43-year-old hedge fund director is one of the world’s leading deep-sea treasure hunters.
- For years, it has been financing missions and investing in technologically advanced tools for discovering shipwrecks.
- While not technically illegal, wreck hunters must keep records of all their discoveries.
After Bloomberg Businessweek, a hedge fund executive was exposed as one of the world’s leading deep-sea shipwreck hunters investigation discovered his decades-long hunt for sunken treasure worth billions.
Anthony Clake, the 43-year-old director of Marshall Wace in London, did not go to the bottom of the ocean himself. He invests in and directs high-tech operations aimed at finding lost treasures at the bottom of the ocean.
Marshall Wace is one of the largest hedge funds in the world, managing assets worth approximately $62 billion.
According to Bloomberg, Clake has been quietly leading the treasure hunt, using advanced underwater technology, including million-dollar marine robots that can go to depths of 6,000 meters and a sonar system that creates three-dimensional maps of the seafloor.
This technology enabled wealthy individuals like Clake to finance seabed exploration.
Clake’s successes include the SS Coloradan, an American steamship sunk by a German U-boat off the coast of South Africa. The wreckage found by his contractors in 2016 contained drums with gold sediment.
Another ship found at a depth of 4,500 meters off the coast of West Africa contained 50 tons of silver coins. The discovery was kept secret, the coins were melted down and sold, and everyone involved had to sign an NDA, Bloomberg reported.
It is unclear how much money Clake made from the recovered treasure. However, the most profitable wrecks often attract competing claims, legal disputes and seizures.
In 2015, a Clake-affiliated company discovered the Spanish galleon San José, which had sunk off the coast of Colombia. It contained a prize estimated at billions of dollars.
But competing claims from another U.S. treasure-hunting entity, as well as the Colombian government and an indigenous group in Bolivia, have stalled plans to recover the items from San José.
The report found that at times, in an operation called “wet dumping”, Clake’s crews left their finds underwater elsewhere to avoid government interference.
It is unclear how much Clake earned from treasure hunting.
“I don’t make money from this,” Clake told Bloomberg in a brief interview. “I think it’s interesting to use technology to solve undersea problems.”
Treasure hunting is not illegal, but under international law anyone who discovers a shipwreck is obliged to report their find to the authorities, in accordance with Art. Legal information.
Under the Abandoned Wreck Act of 1987, all shipwrecks in U.S. waters belong to the state.
Clake did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.