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Carey Pensions sale gets FCA approval

Aim listed pensions provider STM Group says it has completed the acquisition of embattled Sipp provider Carey Pensions following FCA approval.

In October 2018 STM said it would pay up to £400,000 to acquire Carey Administration Holdings, which owns 70 per cent of Carey Pensions and 80 per cent of Carey Corporate Pensions, subject to regulatory approval.

An update from STM this morning says the watchdog has granted permission for the acquisition to be completed.

The minority shareholdings of both Carey Pensions UK and Carey Corporate Pensions UK are owned by Christine Hallett, who continues as managing director of the Carey Pensions businesses.

STM Group chief executive Alan Kentish says: “We are delighted that Christine and her teams are joining the STM Group. The two UK focused pensions businesses give us some really exciting options for our growth strategy.

“I have no doubt that the support and stability of STM will allow the Carey Pensions businesses to flourish; they have solid product offerings and a loyal and professional intermediary base.”

Although the deal has been completed Carey Pensions is currently waiting for a crucial court ruling over allegations it missold a Sipp to a client.

During a High Court hearing in March last year Carey Pensions claimed it did not break conduct of business rules when it set up a Sipp for a client.

In the case, lorry driver Russell Adams alleges Carey Pensions missold him a Sipp in February 2012, when he was paid an inducement of £4,000 into his savings account to encourage him to put money into rental scheme Store First.

The case is seen as a pivotal ruling on whether Sipp providers should take responsibility for unsuitable investments.

STM says it has secured indemnities and significant existing professional indemnity insurance cover from Carey, and believes its exposure to the court ruling and any other historic industry issues to be minimal.

Carey Pensions managing director Christine Hallett says: “We are delighted that the acquisition has now finally been completed. STM’s vision for the UK market, both in terms of Sipps and workplace solutions, as well as their support and resources, makes STM the perfect partner for us to be able to further grow successful and profitable businesses.”

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