Centre for Policy Studies research fellow Michael Johnson has denied he had a role with Arch Financial Products LLP, following speculation over his links to the company.
Last week, Money Marketing covered a report being compiled by Johnson for the CPS which lays some of the Arch cru misselling blame with the Investment Management Association, due to the fund range being labelled cautious managed.
Since then there has been speculation on the internet over whether Johnson was a non-executive director at the company. According to Companies House, Johnson resigned as a “member” of Arch Financial Planning Products LLP on July 4 2008. Non-executive directorships do not exist for LLPs but only publicly listed companies.
Johnson and Arch both say the entry is the result of signing a document to enable him to carry out research at the company between September 2007 and January 2008. Johnson says once he had completed the research he made it clear he “wanted nothing to do with the company”.
He says: “I spent nine or 10 days there between September 2007 and mid-January 08. I was unpaid and undertaking research, my reason for being there was to find out what Arch was doing. As a requirement of doing that I signed a document which never mentioned being a non-exec director but doing so resulted in this listing.
“I am furious about this, it hurts. You have to ask who the people making these comments are and what are they seeking to achieve by trying to undermine my credibility.”
An Arch Financial Products spokesman says: “Johnson was made a member to enable him to come and do this research and he was termed non-exec because he did not have an executive role at the firm.”
The spokesman says those becoming members of the company do have an opportunity to become a partner, adding that Johnson never took up the position. “He was more interested in his research,” he adds.
Johnson says: “Once I had finished the research and attended an investor presentation I told them I was going to have nothing to do with them. I could not get on with Arch because of its relationship with Cru Investment Management. Communication between the two was pretty poor and that is important.
“I never attended management meetings and they never paid me. This is important because everything I do in the pensions space is un-salaried. I do not want my reputation trashed and that is what this feels like.”