When Selectapension stopped executing defined benefit pension transfer advice last year, eyes quickly turned to its key partner firm: CFPML.
A previously unknown entity, the FCA reviewed CFPML as part of its work, and a little big of digging from Money Marketing uncovered it was actually a two-man band advice firm just down the road from Selectapension that was executing all the DB transfers through an outsourced deal.
Nearly a year after the FCA pulled the rug out from under CFPML, the firm now appears to have resurfaced with a new name.
The firm was based in Crowborough and suspended its DB transfer service last July, but has resumed trading from 26 April as Pastel Partners , according to a Companies House filing.
According to Selectapension national accounts director Peter Bradshaw, it became clear that CFPML well and truly disappeared around November last year, although a change of address was not noted until 9 February 2018.
Bradshaw says he is unaware of any rebrand or renewed work from CFPML.
The new address listed for the firm is two miles from its former office location, which was opposite Selectapension.
As one of the biggest names in the market, Selectapension’s choice of partner for its advice execution appears to have backfired badly.
A CFPML representative appeared unaware of the rebrand when alerted to the Companies House filing by Money Marketing, however.
They said: “I don’t know anything regarding Pastel Partners.”
Despite attempts to talk further with CFPML’s directors, neither have responded to our queries.
Money Marketing has been unable to establish whether CFMPL, trading as Pastel Partners, is still providing DB transfer services under its new name.
The first of the two directors, David Price appears to have resigned as a director of Selectapension Bureau Services on 2 November 2017.
According to a Companies House filing, he is also currently the director of Fisk Financial Planning Limited and CFP Management Limited, registered to the same address as Pastel Partners.
There are also four other companies listed on Price’s record as a director at the now-dissolved Campbell Fisk & Partners Limited.
The other CFPML/Pastel director, Toni Bryant has much the same professional history as Price, along with a five-month period as a director of Midas Pensions Portal, which rebranded to Midas Property Portal before the termination of her directorship in March this year.
CFPML initially accepted restrictions on its business with the FCA, agreeing to stop all pension transfer advice, but did respond to a request for comment on any advice they currently provide as Pastel Partners.
Selectapension was used by 7,000 IFA firms, processing 43,570 transfer reports in 2016. The firm is continuing to provide transfer value analysis reports, but has yet to re-enter the DB transfer market.
Hope William-Smith is a senior reporter at Money Marketing. Follow her on Twitter @h_williamsmith