Guardian Capital AG Review: Malaysian trading Ponzi scheme
Guardian Capital AG (aka GCG Asia) provides no information on their website about who owns or runs the business.
The Guardian Capital AG website domain (“guardiancapitalag.asia”) was registered on December 22nd, 2018.
Guardian Capital AG is listed as the owner, through an incomplete address in Switzerland.
Further research reveals Guardian Capital AG affiliates naming Darren Yaw as co-founder of the company.
On Facebook Yaw goes by Darren Yaw Foo Hoe. His profile states he lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Thus it appears Guardian Capital AG is a Malaysian company. Any links to Switzerland are assumed to be shell incorporations.
To that end Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority has issued a warning that Guardian Capital AG is not a registered corporation.
Yaw appears to be heavily involved in cryptocurrency. As per the screenshot above, he is co-founder of the World Crypto Asset Blockchain Alliance (WCBA).
As per their website, WCBA hosts various cryptocurrency related seminars.
The WCBA website is unranked by Alexa, suggesting that as a business it’s a flop.
Curiously, despite Darren Yaw co-founding both companies, WCBA is pretending to have nothing to do with Guardian Capital AG.
Visitors to the WCBA website are presented with the following popup:
The message suggests WCBA was a client of Guardian Capital AG but is no longer.
Whether they are or they aren’t though doesn’t change the fact Darren Yaw is running both companies.
As far as I can tell, GCG Asia is Darren Yaw’s first MLM opportunity.
Guardian Capital AG Products
Guardian Capital AG has no retailable products or services.
GCG Asia solicits investment from affiliates on the promise of returns.
GCG Asia represents returns are generated via forex, cryptocurrency, precious metal and energy commodity trading.
The Guardian Capital AG Compensation Plan
Guardian Capital AG’s compensation requires affiliates invest.
Commissions are paid when they recruit others who do the same.
Guardian Capital AG Affiliate Ranks
There are five ranks within Guardian Capital AG’s compensation plan.
Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:
- Investor – sign up as a Guardian Capital AG affiliate and invest
- IB – personally invest $1500, recruit at least five investors and generate at least $10,000 in personally recruited affiliate investment volume
- MIB – personally invest at least $4500, maintain five personally recruited active investors and generate at least $50,000 in personally recruited affiliate investment volume
- PIB – personally invest at least $12,000, recruit and maintain at least three MIB ranked affiliates and generate at least $350,000 in total downline investment volume
- DIB – personally invest at least $30,000, recruit and maintain at least three PIB ranked affiliates, generate at least $100,000 in personally recruited affiliate investment volume and generate at least $2,500,000 in total downline investment volume
Investment into Guardian Capital AG are tracked in lots.
GCG Asia affiliates receive commissions on invested lots based on rank:
- IB – $5 per investment lot
- MIB – $10 per investment lot
- PIB – $15 per investment lot
- DIB – $20 per investment lot
Guardian Capital AG pays residual commissions based on a coded system.
GCG Asia’s coded residual commissions pays $20 on each investment lot, regardless of the rank of the affiliate who solicited the investment.
When a new investment lot is made, a GCG Asia affiliate is paid based on rank.
If they are a DIB they receive the full $20 commission.
If they are at a lower rank, they receive a corresponding commission (MIB – $10, PIB – $15 etc.).
The balance is then paid upline, based on rank.
E.g. If an IB affiliate generates an investment lot, they receive their $5 commission.
There is still $15 to pay out, and so the system searches upline for a MIB or higher ranked affiliate to pay the balance out too.
If a MIB affiliate is found first, they are paid $5 ($10 MIB rate minus the $5 IB rate already paid out), with $10 remaining.
The remaining $10 is paid further upline to either a PIB and/or DIB affiliate.
If a PIB affiliate is found first they are paid $10 ($15 PIB rate minus the $5 IB rate already paid out), with $5 remaining.
The $5 balance is then paid to the first upline DIB affiliate found.
Note that if a DIB is found before a MIB or PIB affiliate, they are paid the remaining balance and nothing is carried upline.
Guardian Capital AG pays trading commissions via a unilevel compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team, with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 2 of the original affiliate’s unilevel team.
If any level 2 affiliates recruit new affiliates, they are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth down a theoretical infinite number of levels.
Guardian Capital AG caps payable unilevel team levels at ten.
Trade commissions are paid out as a percentage of alleged trade volume based on rank:
- Investors and IBs receive 5% on level 1 (personally recruited affiliates), 4% on level 2 and 3% on level 3
- MIBs receive 5% on level 1, 4% on level 2, 3% on level 3 and 1% on levels 4 and 5
- PIBs receive 5% on level 1, 4% on level 2, 3% on level 3, 1% on levels 4 to 6 and 0.5% on levels 7 and 8
- DIBs receive 5% on level 1, 4% on level 2, 3% on level 3, 1% on levels 4 to 6 and 0.5% on levels 7 to 10
GCG Asia pays a 10% commission match on unilevel team affiliates of the same rank.
Joining Guardian Capital AG
Guardian Capital AG affiliate membership is tied to a minimum $1500 investment.
Full participation in the GCG Asia income opportunity requires a minimum $30,000 investment.
Your first red flag with Guardian Capital AG is co-founder Darren Yaw cited as “Dato Sri Darren Yaw”.
I’ve yet to see a legitimate MLM company run by a Malaysian Dato.
Your second red flag is GCG Asia being a Malaysian financial services MLM company.
I’ve yet to see a legitimate Malaysian financial services MLM company.
Both these red flags are justified upon inspection of Guardian Capital AG’s business model.
Without a doubt, GCG Asia is offering a passive investment opportunity.
At the time of publication Alexa cites China (55%), Japan (18%) and Malaysia (6%) as the top sources of traffic to GCG Asia’s website.
Despite claiming to be “licenced and regulated”, Guardian Capital AG provides no indication on its website that it is licensed to offer financial services in any jurisdiction it solicits investment in.
In China Guardian Capital AG is illegal because it doesn’t hold an MLM license period.
In Japan and Malaysia GCG Asia would need to be registered with the Central Bank of Malaysia and Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission respectively.
Without appropriate regulation there’s no way to verify Guardian Capital AG are actually trading, and using purported trading revenue to pay affiliates.
Furthermore Darren Yaw doesn’t appear to have a verifiable trading history. GCG Asia also fail to disclose exactly who is running their purported trading operations.
There’s no reason a legitimate company wouldn’t register itself and operate legally. This lends itself to GCG Asia being yet another Malaysian trading Ponzi scheme.
As with all Ponzi schemes, once affiliate recruitment dies down, so too will new investment.
This will starve GCG Asia of ROI revenue, eventually prompting a collapse.
The math behind Ponzi schemes guarantees that when they collapse, the majority of investors lose money.
Update 8th June 2019 – After lying about having approval from the Cambodian government, Darren Yaw was arrested in Cambodia in late May.
As at the time of publication Guardian Capital AG’s various websites are offline.
Update 1st January 2022 – BehindMLM can confirm Darren Yaw was convicted in October 2019.
Yaw was sentenced to one year in prison, of which he served five months.
Since release, Yaw has attempted to scrub his involvement in the GCG Asia Ponzi scheme through misinformation and bogus DMCA takedown notices.