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SIPP provider Berkeley Burke has been ordered to pay almost £1m in costs to people left out of pocket after making high-risk unregulated investments which were accepted into the firm’s SIPPs. 

The joint administrators of GPC SIPP have concluded the sale of the business to Hartley Pensions following a period of marketing.


The deal, which was completed on Monday, included the effective transfer of the SIPPs and SSASs held via the trustee company, Guardian Pension Trustees Limited.

Adam Stephens and Henry Shinners of Smith & Williamson LLP were appointed as joint administrators of GPC on June 11.

Hartley is an established SSAS provider with over 35 years’ experience in the financial services industry, opening its first SIPP in 2001.

It is part of the Wilton Group and manages more than £1 billion of clients’ assets.

  

Adam Stephens, lead administrator, said: “We are pleased to confirm the sale of the business to Hartley, which will provide continuity of service to GPC’s clients.

“We recognise that the insolvency of GPC may have been unsettling to clients”.

Weightmans LLP acted as legal advisers to the joint administrators on the sale.

James Moore, restructuring and insolvency partner at Weightmans LLP, led the team along with Natasha Atkinson (R&I Partner) and pensions partner Mark Poulston.

The joint administrators confirmed that all staff will transfer across to Hartley, which, they said, should assist in ensuring that clients will experience minimum disruption in the transfer process.

The joint administrators and Hartley “do not anticipate that there will be any interruption to the services previously provided by GPC”.

GPC specialised in the provision of technical and administration services to Guardian Pension Trustees Limited which acted as the corporate trustee of SIPPs and SASSs.

It administered around 3,200 SIPPs and 50 SSASs, holding over 8,000 property assets, and a total investment value of around £130m.

The joint administrators said clients will be contacted “in the coming days” with information about their pensions.

It was good to see the Guidance Consultation from the FCA on the fair treatment of vulnerable clients that has recently been published.

The retirement outcomes review continues to cause fun and games in the world of pensions. Particularly for those with more complex pension products.

SIPP operator Curtis Banks has introduced the Prudential Trustee Investment Plan (Pru TIP) to its Your Future SIPP. 
The FCA’s ‘Retirement Outcomes Review’ policy statement has come under fire from SIPPs specialists.

PK Wealth has made its Managed Portfolio Service – Active Approach available for external advisers looking to outsource part of their investment proposition.

SIPPs and SSAS firm Talbot and Muir has boosted assets and SIPPs.

The results for the half year to 30 June revealed continued growth with an 18% increase in new SIPP cases and a 58% increase in SSAS cases for the same period in 2018.

Meanwhile, assets under administration increased to £2.86bn and projected current year EBITDA was £1.8m with a 20% increase in the number of advisers using the firm.

Recurring income now represents 88% of turnover.
 
The firm says the SIPP and SSAS sector continues to be competitive with advisers using them for not only their complex cases but also for single asset or DFM options.

Despite the change of direction of some SIPP providers towards the platform market, Talbot and Muir says it is benefiting from “the vacuum left behind” and has benefited from a “growing number of Introducers who prefer the open architecture and personal service of a ‘pure SIPP’ which is often a cheaper solution than offered via a platform”.
 


Brian Talbot, director, Talbot and Muir, said: “We pride ourselves on our service and the value of our products and unlike some of our larger competitors we are making a genuine profit.

“We believe that the SIPP and SSAS sector will continue to grow but that there is likely to be more consolidation and we remain acquisitive for good quality books of business that will enhance our position as a leading independent provider.
 
“We have doubled the size of our office space, having recently moved to a new 10,000 square feet office within Nottingham city centre.   

“The new space is contemporary, open-plan and will enable us to continue growing as we appoint new staff to ensure service levels are maintained.  

“We are upgrading our back office systems with Delta which will continue to improve the portal functionality and client/adviser reporting that we offer.
 
“There has been a 20% increase in the number of new advisers using us for the first time as they look to review their SIPP and SSAS administrators to ensure they remain committed to the market and are continuing to innovate and invest in their businesses.”
Independent SIPPs operator Curtis Banks has launched a new secure client portal, signalling the latest development of its new SIPP product launched earlier this year – Your Future SIPP.

There has been unprecedented change in the pensions industry in recent years and SIPPs have been no exception. 

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