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Advisers take legal advice over Shepherds’ claims

Advisers of investors who placed over 26m in an offshore Shepherds traded life fund are seeking advice on what part of the organisation should be pursued in a legal claim.

Over 30 advice firms are behind the action which will look at which part of the Shepherds network of businesses presents the best target for legal action. The group’s legal team will be asked to consider the role of the Shepherds Select Fund based in the Isle of Man as well as its London investment adviser branch and regulators in both jurisdictions. The advisers, from the UK, Finland, Sweden, Panama, Philippines, Dubai, are concerned that claims could be brought against them if Mutual Benefits Corporation, the Florida-based policy market-maker through which Shepherds placed business, is put into liquidation. Action against Shepherds is being co-ordinated through an adviser website at

The receiver for MBC recommended MBC should be wound up by the end of the year, predicting substantial crystallised losses for investors. The Shepherds’ fund was 85 per cent invested in MBC policies.

Representing the group, Financial Services Legal consultant Gareth Fatchett says: “The only prudent action today for any advisers with clients invested in this fund is to join and get legal advice to defend themselves from potential complaints.”


Balancing act

Major life offices have completed their FSA returns, including for the first time “realistic” balance sheets which provide the analyst with a new perspective, and include “rule of thumb” indicators of financial strength – the working capital ratio and the cover for the risk capital margin.


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