Harlequin adviser launches internal review

An advisory firm linked to an alternative investment sister-business promoting Harlequin Property products has launched a review of its advice processes.

A statement from TailorMade Independent said its regulatory permissions for new pension business, as reported earlier this week, had been suspended while an FSA-sanctioned review was ongoing.

The statement said: “In January 2013, TMI had an FSA supervision visit. This was a scheduled visit and TMI had on several occasions suggested the FSA undertake such a visit.

“Prior to the FSA visit and in response to the FSA’s Sipp Alert, TMI took the precautionary step of suspending accepting new business pending a review of the firm’s advice process. The FSA was notified of this intention and a course of action was agreed with the FSA. This arrangement has now been formalised by TMI. TMI is also engaging with a number of its pipeline clients, with the approval of the FSA.”

TMI said it was working with the FSA to ensure the best outcome for clients and to continue providing financial planning services.

It comes after Financial Adviser revealed that another TailorMade group company with the same directors, TailorMade Alternative Investments, had stopped promoting Harlequin products.

The FSA declined to comment on the reason for the restriction and also did not comment when asked whether advisory firms were being investigated regarding Harlequin products.

TailorMade Group has an advisory, self-invested personal pension and alternative investment business, with the same directors across the brands.

According to Companies House and FSA register searches, Alistair Burns and Robert Shaw are directors of TMAI and of Openwork-appointed representative TailorMade Financial Solutions, and a directly authorised firm TailorMade Independent, which operates a panel of preferred Sipp providers.

Mr Burns is also director of the TailorMade Sipp, a Sipp provider and trustee, which a spokesman said contains no Harlequin investments.