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Three directors of Ucis advice firm disqualified

Three directors of Quintillion Asset Management have been banned for making unauthorised investments from client pension funds and inappropriate investments on behalf of clients, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Quintillion Asset Management, a discretionary adviser frim from Carlisle, had its permissions cancelled by the FSA in July 2012 for unpaid regulatory fees and went into liquidation a month later.

Money Marketing first revealed in March 2013 that an investor action group had been set up by Quintillion clients to find out what had happened to a fund they invested in.

Alongside their roles at Quintillion AM, senior management of the firm also set up a Ucis fund in 2009, called the Kratos fund, to invest in intellectual property rights. It targeted annual returns of 35 per cent and is thought to have amassed up to £2.5m of assets.

Former Quintillion managing director Anton Taylor also acted as group managing director of the Kratos fund. His father David was a director at Quintillion and group finance director at Kratos, while Simon Silva-Peake acted as investment director for Quintillion and fund manager for Kratos.

All three have now been disqualified from acting as directors for between six and 11 years.

David Taylor has been banned for six years, while Anton Taylor and Silva-Peake have been banned for 11 years each. 

Investigators found the directors were responsible for transferring pension funds of at least £659,270 in breach of agreements with clients. A further £2m was transferred from client funds to investment schemes that were inappropriate for clients’ risk profiles.

The Insolvency Service says the failings resulted in liabilities of £2.4m.

The directors’ failure to deliver up the company’s accounting records meant that investigators were unable to account for unauthorised transfers of client funds or establish who within the company was responsible for, or had knowledge of, transfers of client monies.

Ken Beasley, of the Insolvency Service’s Public Interest Unit, says: “Investors who believed that the company was providing professional investment advice to safeguard their pensions have lost significant sums of money. The company’s actions in making high-risk investments against the wishes of clients were unacceptable and the directors bear that responsibility.


“By failing to preserve the company’s accounting records the directors also showed a fundamental disregard for their duties as directors of a limited company. 


“The disqualifications demonstrate that the Insolvency Service will use its enforcement powers to remove irresponsible and culpable directors from operating with the benefit of limited liability in the business environment.”

Quintillion AM was declared in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in April.

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Comments

There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Will this mean yet another extra FSCS levy for the rest of us?

  2. I would suggest that these “gentlemen” should have been disqualified from ever again being company directors. As we say in Yorkshire, they`re clearly as bent as a nine bob note.

  3. Isn’t this the sort of thing that PI cover should protect against?

  4. Good read on Wealth Manager CityWire 2009. This has got to change – I endorse Julian why should we be bailing out these cowboys time and time again – this has to be addressed. What about treating good advisers fairly!!

  5. I just don’t understand why no-one is held accountable here.

    So what happened to the money? Surely some criminal act has taken place? In this day and age, transfers of monies should be traceable.

    Never mind though, the FSCS might pay out to the unfortunate clients!

  6. They may have been disqualified from being directors, but presumably they’re able to give “advice” in the future?

  7. Oh dear – looks like the “Thought Police” have taken out part of my previous comment, in which I questioned the probity of these individuals in Northern colloquial terms. Wonder which part of my narrative was deemed unacceptable ?

  8. Nick Pilkington 29th August 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Why can we not have a regime that says advisers are not allowed to advise on unregulated products.
    Then if an adviser gives advice on an unregulated product he is acting illegally & compensation is through the courts directly against the person who gave the advice & not funded by the rest of the IFA community.
    If the FCA need to regulate more products then they can do so.

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