Avacade Limited and Alexandra Associates were Cheshire based Introducer companies.
The high court ruled in favour of the FCA in a civil action case brought against the two unregulated introducer firms and their managing directors.
They Court of Appeal upheld the decision in August 2021 and collectively they were ordered to pay £10,715,000 in restitution.
Avacade Limited and Alexandra Associates – along with their directors Craig Lummis, Lee Lummis and Raymond Fox – were accused of providing unlawful pension advice, making unapproved financial promotions and making false or misleading statements.
The FCA case centred around the pension report service both companies provided and the alleged unregulated conduct which “induced” clients to transfer their pensions into SIPPS and then into alternative investments. These investments included tree plantations and a Brazilian property development.
According to the regulator Avacade and Alexandra Associates received over £10m in commissions as more than 2000 clients transferred around £91m.
More than two-thirds of that amount was invested in products promoted by Avacade.
Almost £1m went into Paraiba bond – a Brazilian property development promoted by Alexandra Associates.
Many of the underlying investments have now failed or are in liquidation.
Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, said at the time:
“The actions of those involved put the pension savings of thousands of people at risk. We will now seek restitution for them.”
Avacade Limited is currently in liquidation.
Liberty SIPP accepted business from Avacade Limited. They went into Administration in 2020 and were declared in default by the FSCS in January 2021.
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