The regulated financial advisor by the name of Mr Gregory Hallam worked for a number of different financial companies. These companies were responsible for the actions of Mr Hallam at the time he gave his advice.

Some of the companies he was linked with include Trafalgar Square Overseas Limited, WJA Financial Services Limited, Cherish Wealth Management, My IFA Friend, Aspire Independent Financial Services Limited, and Future Financial IFA Group Limited.

Known to his clients as Greg, the financial advisor was no longer regulated as of 2010. This meant that his many clients were not fully protected and so were unable to recoup their losses either by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) nor by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOB).

The fact that he was unregulated didn’t stop Mr Hallam from giving regulated advice. Using his contacts within the industry, he worked his way around the various regulatory rules to arrange the transfer of investments and pensions.

It may be the case that you signed forms for WJA Financial Services Ltd, Aspire Independent Financial Services, Cherish Wealth Management or My IFA Friend without being aware that you were actually deal with Charterhouse Asset Management or Gregory Hallam himself.

Introductions Made

The vast majority of clients were introduced to Mr Hallam through a mortgage advice company. This makes sense during the original financial fact finding discussion, the client’s financial circumstances would be brought up. Clients were typically invited to a number of presentations where they were introduced to numerous different investments. Greg acted as the pension specialist and talked about using pension funds to put money into alternative investments. He was particularly good at ingratiating himself with individuals and actually became very friendly with many over his clients over the years.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issues fines to those individuals or advisors that are not honest or lack integrity, and who ignore their responsibility to act with a conscience.

First Step

Gregory Hallam often went the extra mile to offer his clients the very best investments. Some of these were Lifetime SIPP, Pointon York, Pure Diamond Investments Limited, Plantation Capital, Venture Oil Investments Limited, Ukrainian Income Developments Ltd (GDCV Investments Ltd), The Mission Germany Residential Investment Fund, Squires Windermere Hotel Bonds, SCS Farmland, Residential Regeneration Ltd, Premier New Earth Solution Recycling Facilities Investment fund, Marbella Resort & Spa, Interavanti Developments Investimentos Imobiliardos LDA, Hypa Asset Management, Caracola Beach & Spa, Canadia Resort Assets LP, Burcote Wind Trust (Hotbed Fund Managers Ltd), Asia Eco Plantations, Avanti Property 4 LCC, and Accor Hotel Bond.

However, he failed to mention that many of these investments were in companies that were owned by his co-directors, John Riddick and Dennis Stephen. He also didn’t tell them that he was earning commission for making these introductions. A regulated financial advisor would be required to do this.

Second Step

Mr Hallam also recommended many of his clients to get rid of their self-invested personal pension (SIPP) and put the funds into a small self-administered schemes (SSAS) instead. This is basically a pension scheme that is predominantly for company directors, although employees and their family members could be allowed to join. The problem with a SSAS is that it is not fully regulated and many of the companies administering them are not regulated either. This means that the client is the only responsible party.

An SSAS is typically used as a vessel for investing in commercial properties in order to either defer or get exemption from capital gains and income tax on investments. An SSAS is also used to minimise pension charges and to pass the scheme’s benefits on to future generations. Any assets held in a SSAS are ring-fenced away from personal and company creditors.

The disadvantages with SSASs are that there can be no more than 11 people in them, that these people act as trustees and so have all of the legal liability and responsibility involved with running the pension, and they also have the responsibility of having to handle the reporting to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), including arranging the collection of tax relief.

In contrast to this, a SIPP is fully regulated and the trustees in it are required to act in a way that is in the best interest of its clients, and so pays compensation when it goes wrong. Transactions into SIPPs are monitored closely by the FCA.

Some of the SIPP providers were not happy with the transferring of funds into SSASs due to many clients already having taken an income from their pension. A number of Gregory Hallam’s clients are particularly worried due to the fact that they were informed that their pension was transferred from a SSAS into another, despite not having access to any information. As a result, they don’t have a clue where their pension money is or how to get an annual valuation – or even how to access their funds.

Many of his clients were provided with introductions to Cranfords Trustees Ltd and Berkeley Burke, and then asked to move their funds to Retirement Capital. Each and every pension transfer that was made ate into the value of the pension as commissions were charged.

Third Step

Greg was happy to help his clients once they had realised that all of this pension activity has caused them to lose out. It has been the case since 2016 that he has been helping his clients to claim against his own insurance companies. In order to request info from the providers he asked some of his clients for money. This included charging them £240 for something that typically costs no more than £10.

After several years and after his own compensation claims weren’t a success, Mr Hallam began to work even harder than ever before. He went on to join up with Claims Management Companies – a company that is regulated and authorised to provide claims advice. This was done to help those clients who had lost money on poor investments to claim financial compensation.

The Claims Management Companies charged 25 percent + VAT for each and every successful compensation claim. It is highly likely that Greg was earning commission by introducing clients to the Claims Management Companies. Whilst this is pure speculation, he failed to make his clients aware that he had a relationship with the directors of the Claims Management Companies. He actually has personal relationships with them as he worked alongside them as an independent financial advisor (IFA). 

Of his clients that came to us looking for help, we have found it to be the case that none of Claims Management Companies were aware of what the claims process is exactly. They did not go forward with the cases in sufficient time and nor did they inform their clients that their case had run out of time. This left them stranded for several years without the compensation that they were entitled to.

Fourth Step

Mr Gregory Hallam likely offered to move forward with his clients’ claims through the FSCS. What he would do is ask them for payments for data subject access requests (DSARs) to either the FSCS or the companies involved. All of these payments were made out directly to Mr Hallam. It is not the policy of the FSCS to request payment from individuals in order to perform DSARs. It is still unclear as to what happened with the compensation or the numerous promises that Greg made regarding the return of funds. What is clear is that it left lots of people in a poor state of financial affairs.

Poor Pension Advice

It is clear to see that Gregory Hallam has been involved in a number of unregulated and unethical practices. Our team of experts have knowledge on what he has done and how to claim for financial compensation, so give them a call today to talk through your options.

Anyone that had dealings with this individual or any of the companies mentioned, and has either invested money or transferred a pension with their help may very well have been given poor advice. This is why you should get all of your transactions with them reviewed by an expert. This is also true for anyone that either doesn’t know where their SSAS is or has little information on it.

Expert Claims Advice

We offer a pension claim consulting service that you really should take advantage of. For no charge and with no obligation to use our services, we will assess your personal situation in order to find out if you’re entitled to financial redress. You need to act fast though as there may be time limits in place.

High Standards But Low Fees

We have been helping people with making compensation claims for a number of years now and our fees are some of the lowest around. This is because we don’t buy your personal data from the very same companies that are involved with your claim. On numerous occasions we have shown that Claims Management Companies charge fees that are totally unjustified whilst providing poor service. This is why we want to help you.

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