Few in modern society are exempt from receiving poor financial advice. In fact, it affects everyone from the everyday working classes to the rich and famous. One such example is a mis-sold pension case launched by seven former Newcastle United football players against Kevin Neal and the now insolvent Kevin Neal Wealth Management Plc.
One difference between this case and those of the everyday working classes is that one of the targeted football players (the well-known striker Alan Shearer) was able to hire a team of private investigators to track down Kevin Neal. In total, Kevin Neal owed Shearer £232,000.
Of course, this is a sum which, to many, will justify hiring private investigators. However, the key takeaways from this story will help to protect the countless others who may not be able to take such decisive (and costly) action. Not everybody can afford a team of private investigators.
Here is the story of the mis-sold pensions case between Kevin Neal, Kevin Neal Associates Wealth Management Llp, and the seven ex-Newcastle United football players.
What happened with the Kevin Neal case?
Financial adviser Kevin Neal launched two successive financial advisory firms, Kevin Neal Associates and Kevin Neal Wealth Management. Both firms marketed their services at high net worth individuals and, as will be seen, well-known and professional sportspeople.
Judge Henrietta Hill QC said of both firms:
“They recommended investments which were supposedly secure and ‘uncorrelated’ but were in fact unregulated collective investment schemes for the purposes of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Both firms are now insolvent.”
Henrietta Hill QC made the decision to pass the footballers’ case onto a High Court judge. However, Neal failed to attend his High Court hearing, claiming that he was stranded at his Spanish home with an ‘injured foot’ and a COVID quarantine.
This led Alan Shearer to take matters into his own hands and hire private investigators who, days after Neal’s statement, shared photographs of Neal loading up his car in Hertfordshire. Neal’s barrister conceded that Neal had actually “been in the UK at the material time”. The lie led a senior judge to rule that an ‘incorrect factual scenario’ had been put before the original hearing “by those acting for Mr. Neal, no doubt on his instructions”.
Eventually, Mr. Neal was ordered to pay Shearer the money owed (as well as £55,845 in court costs). Back in 2018, Neal was banned for acting as a company director for six years, and his wife Cheryl was banned for four years.
Poor financial advice offered by Kevin Neal Wealth Management
In their claim, the group of retired footballers stated that they were all ill-advised by Neal and offered both poor financial advice and a number of mis-sold pension products. Some ex-players lost up to £850,000 and were even forced to sell family homes.
As Henrietta Hill QC stated, the supposedly safe schemes were in fact unregulated which, as we’ve seen countless times before, more often than not leads to financial hardship. Without protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and regulation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), there is significantly less safeguarding for investors.
Representing the footballers, law firm High Street Solicitors said that the group was dishonestly advised to invest their pensions in investments that were deemed high-risk – this was something that the claimants were not at all aware of.
Of course, this is something that is very common in mis-sold pensions cases.
How can you protect yourself from the likes of Kevin Neal?
The above case is a drop in the ocean, and it shows that even the wealthy can be exposed to financial hardship. Below you will find a number of articles written by our team that will help you protect yourself from mis-sold pensions schemes and the unlawful tactics employed by some financial advisors.
- Spot the signs of pension fund mismanagement
- What counts as a high-risk investment?
- 30 financial terms you need to know
- Why it’s important to be regulated by the FCA
- How to protect yourself against bad investment advice
We can help with your mis-sold pension scheme
So calculating are the methods of some financial advisors that Alan Shearer was actually bitten twice by Kevin Neal. Three years ago, Shearer launched a £9 million damages claim against Neal for negligent pensions and investment advice. A confidential agreement was made, but the decision was made to pursue the remaining £232,000.
While you may not have the kind of PI resources that Alan Shearer has, you can still protect yourself and launch convincing mis-sold investment claims with our expert help. All you need to do is contact us here and fill out our quick 30-second enquiry form. We’ll take care of the rest. You should also take a look at our testimonials page.
If you enjoyed reading this, take a look at our selection of guides. We regularly update it with all the latest news and developments from the mis-sold pension claims and investments world.