Directors of unregulated overseas property firm Harlequin Property have begun the process of putting the company into administration.
Director Carol Ames filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator with the Royal Courts of Justice in London last week. The notice was filed under the name Harlequin Management Services (South East), which trades as Harlequin Property.
The document sets out that Anthony Davidson and Stephen Ryman of Shipleys are to be appointed as the administrators.
An “interim moratorium” is now in place which prevents legal action being taken against the company.
The collapse of Harlequin, which marketed and built luxury off-plan developments in the Caribbean and elsewhere, comes after the Serious Fraud Office began an investigation into the firm last month.
Also last month, the FSA wrote to Sipp operators requesting information on members who had invested in Harlequin, and limited the disposal of assets by former Harlequin distributor Tailormade Independent. Tailormade has also been prevented from carrying out new pensions business.
The regulator issued an alert in January saying it had seen an increasing number of Sipps with underlying property investments bought through Harlequin.
Essential IFA managing director Peter Herd says: “The regulator should have taken reported concerns about Harlequin seriously. I feel sorry for the investors.”