If the photograph on the front of Money Marketing of August 18 did not
incense every IFA in the land it jolly well ought to have done.
How Douglas Black could appear with his smug mug on the front page
gleefully announcing Towry Law's plans for 1.000 IFAs must represent the
biggest cheek of all time.
If you remember, his and his board's incompetence buying Advizas will cost
every IFA in the country a considerable increase in their contribution to
the Investors' Compensation Scheme.
We now know why the £75m paid by AMP was not used for propping up
Advizas. Mr Black, in the article, informs us that he could have let
Advizas go bust, costing the ICS £50m.
I ask everyone the question – could Towry Law seriously continue trading
after leaving a debt of £50m through one of their subsidiary companies?
Would any investor trust their money with a firm with £50m debts? If
that is the blackmail tactics that they used with the ICS, more fool the
ICS for not calling their bluff.
I have a message to all advisers in this country – if you have not already
written to the ICS and lodged your objections with the FSA, don't you think
it is time you did?
Don't just let me shoot all the bullets, I am afraid my gun is not big
enough either to take the smug look of Black's face or kick him out of his
Aston Martin Virage – yes, it looks like you are all paying for the running
of that too.
This whole fiasco is a huge signal that, to save embarrass-ment, you can
be bailed out by the compensation scheme and walk away from your basic
The one thing for certain is that Black and his co-directors will
certainly not be suing their professional advisers under the present
arrangement – they would if they have to foot the whole £50m bill.
My vote is to call Black's bluff to let Advizas go bust, then watch AMP
get their chequebooks out and sue their professional advisers.
Otherwise we will be getting our chequebooks out to pay for a deal on
which none of our names appeared on the contract. How much damage will
Towry Law do next time with 1,000 advisers?
Managing director,Hargreaves Lansdown,