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Carey Pensions' Hallett: We are 'ready to move on'

Carey Pensions' Hallett: We are 'ready to move on'

Carey Pensions is a name that needs to be left in the past as the provider looks to its future under a new brand, its managing director has said.

Speaking to FTAdviser, Christine Hallett said the problems associated with Carey Pensions regarding the level of due diligence on investments in its self-invested personal pension were in the past, and it was important to move on.

Carey Pensions was acquired by STM Group in October 2018 and now goes by the name Options Pensions following a rebrand this month.

However, the Sipp provider is still awaiting the outcome of the Adams v Carey Pensions High Court case, which centres on the issue of due diligence by Sipp operators after the trial was concluded in March 2018.

This case which centred on the question of provider responsibility when accepting investments into a Sipp will have implications on the rest of the Sipp market.

Ms Hallett said she was none the wiser as to the outcome of this case but was not worried about the reputation it may bring to the new brand.

She said the case was “unfortunate” but even more so that other Sipp providers had to close their doors due to similar issues.

Ms Hallett said: “We are not worried at all that the ongoing court case may bring a reputation. 

“We have got adequate professional indemnity insurance so are fortunately not in the same position as other Sipp providers who had to close due to similar claims.

“It has been a great disservice to the industry and although I am not saying that there were some companies that did things they shouldn’t have, there were other companies that truly had a robust due diligence process which was followed. But unfortunately every provider was put under the same umbrella.”

At the time of acquisition, parent company STM acknowledged the ongoing legal dispute, saying it had “secured indemnities and the benefit of significant existing [professional indemnity] cover from the sellers and considers any residual exposure to this, and any other historic industry, issues to be minimal”.

But Ms Hallett said she was not willing to wait for the outcome of the case before moving on with the new brand.

She said: “On March 12 the case will have been ongoing for two years and we cannot afford to wait another two years before we move forward.

"We want to think forward as opposed to keep reflecting on the past. We knew there would never be the right time to launch the new brand but we are determined for 2020 to make it a year of fresh solutions and to provide something which is robust and needed in the marketplace.”

Ms Hallett said she was aware that people will still want to tie the bad issues with the new brand but she was hopeful that people will give them the opportunity to add value to the marketplace.