In 2015 Robert Shaw, former director of advisory firm TailorMade Independent Ltd (TMI), was banned from senior positions in financial services and fined £165,900 by the Financial Conduct Authority.
The FCA found Mr Shaw failed to ensure that TMI assessed the suitability of investments made through self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs) for its customers, and failed to ensure that TMI identified and managed its conflicts of interests.
The FCA said – “Robert Shaw exposed customers to risky investments without considering if these products would meet their needs. In addition, he personally benefitted from sales of these products without revealing to customers the full extent of the benefits he received. His actions mean that many customers faced losing all of their hard earned pension funds. This is not the conduct we expect of senior individuals.”
The FCA found that Mr Shaw benefitted financially from being the director and shareholder of TailorMade Alternative Investments (TMAI), an unregulated introducer, which referred clients to TMI. The financial benefit he received created a conflict of interest with his duty to TMI’s customers to run the business compliantly. These payments created a conflict of interest and so should have been identified, and then disclosed to customers. However, no adequate disclosure was made.
TMI provided advice to customers on transferring their existing pension funds into unregulated investments such as green oil, biofuels, farmland and overseas property via SIPPs. Between 2010 and 2013, 1,661 customers invested £112,420,985 in these investment products, many of which were not typically permitted by their existing pension schemes. More than half of the affected customers invested in overseas property operated by the Harlequin group of companies, which are under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.
TMI has ceased trading and is now in liquidation. If you were dealing with TMI in or before 2015 and were persuaded to transfer your pension contact us today on 01942 619911 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
*TailorMade Independent is in no way connected to Taylor Made Financial Planning LLP.