What was TailorMade and why didn’t investors get their returns?
TailorMade Ltd was effectively an advice arm and alternate business for those looking to invest their SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension). Advisers and agents from the company offered advice on investments in overseas opportunities. One of the things about overseas investments is that they’re notoriously tricky to navigate and only the most experienced of investors should venture into such negotiations. Thinking about the average investor willing to transfer their trusted pension pots, there’s a safe assumption to be made that TailorMade was intentionally contacting inexperienced investors who were unfamiliar with such high-risk endeavours.
What went wrong with TailorMade investments?
The Financial Conduct Authority found that TailorMade Ltd failed to assess the suitability of investments made through SIPPs for its customers and didn’t manage its conflicts of interest. It was also revealed that the organisation failed to oversee their compliance functions properly. According to some experts, TailorMade Ltd earned around £3 million through its SIPP programme, with many of the savings accounts of their clients being drained entirely.
People were informed that their SIPP could be used to build a comfortable retirement through shrewd investment in biofuels, land and overseas property, with TailorMade Ltd advising on the best portfolios and opportunities. However, with significant commissions for all agents and TailorMade not following regular rules, many people were left with little or no money when the company went into administration, after it failed to readdress clients.
Choosing commission over customers
One of the major factors in showing that TailorMade Ltd was a mis-sold SIPP scheme, was the fact that it refused to honour the controls in place to properly protect their customers. The group advised clients to transfer their pensions into SIPPS, which were then invested fully in high-risk schemes including the Harlequin group. Advisers and agents selling clients investments in Caribbean villas run by Harlequin were estimated to receive a commission of around 15%. Trusted advisers therefore received significant commissions at the expense of their customers.
Failing to inform investors of the risks
While investors believed that their money was safe and being invested wisely, in reality, the money was being invested into schemes that were unsafe and seriously high-risk. Before properly assessing the risk to those investing, TailorMade Ltd invested much of the investor’s income (often more than approved by the customer).
Who was the Harlequin Group and why are they relevant?
Harlequin Group was one of the main investments pushed by the advisers at TailorMade. Investments in Harlequin Group consisted of several offshore investment opportunities in the Caribbean. Many people lost a substantial amount of money by investing in the Harlequin Group and other suggested portfolios through the advice of TailorMade Ltd.
With a number of high-profile celebrities, such as Pat Cash, backing the Harlequin Group and trusted financial advisers insisting that customers invest in the organisation, it comes as no surprise that many people lost a significant amount of money when the Harlequin Group went under. Following this, TailorMade Ltd filed for liquidation. Alarmingly, following an investigation, it was revealed that TailorMade Ltd invested pensions without the aforementioned controls in place.
The fall of TailorMade Ltd can be attributed to Harlequin Group and the frequent coverage of their financial difficulties in the UK media. Given the links between TailorMade Ltd and the Harlequin Group, it did not take long for investors with TailorMade Ltd to raise the alarm about their so-called “safe investment”.
Following the long, drawn-out court case and fines for owners and advisors, the TailorMade Ltd case was soon covered by many publications and online sites, with the fines of executives at the company receiving a significant amount of coverage.
Contact us to claim for a mis-sold TailorMade investment
Now that you have all the information relating to mis-sold TailorMade investments, if you were one of the many investors personally affected by it, you must get in touch with us so that we can begin to work on a strong compensation plan for you. To make a SIPP claim, you have to take action at the earliest possible moment. To the right of this page, you’ll see an enquiry form. This is the very first step you have to make, and it takes just 30 seconds to fill out. Trust us, we’ll take care of the rest.