Tavistock Investments has paid out the best part of £400,000 to settle claims against “playboy” adviser Neil Bartlett in the past year.
The wealth consolidator’s yearly results, published today (July 23), showed Tavistock put aside £2.5m in April 2019 as provision against possible claims against Mr Bartlett, and has spent £367,000 on claims since.
As of March 31 this year, Tavistock still holds £2.1m for payments against advice given by Mr Bartlett.
Mr Bartlett was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2019 after defrauding victims out of £4.5m, which he used to fund his extravagant lifestyle, while working as a financial adviser. He was later banned by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Tavistock’s results also showed its funds under management had increased for the sixth consecutive year, reaching £1bn as at March 30 and marking a 6 per cent increase year-on-year.
This was despite the coronavirus crisis triggering a sharp decline in financial markets towards the year end.
Overall, the group’s revenue jumped 5 per cent to £28.8m in the year to March, while its Ebitda rose by nearly a quarter (24 per cent) to £1.8m.
The revenue created by its investment management arm, Tavistock Wealth, rose to £5.6m — an increase of 14 per cent — while revenues in its advisory business jumped 4 per cent to £23.3m.
Despite this Tavistock is looking to implement a group-wide reorganisation to save more than £700,000 a year.
In the year to March, Hugh Simon, chairman of Hamon Investment Group, bought a 5 per cent stake in the firm.
In today’s results Tavistock said it was interested in developing a “meaningful stake” in the UK wealth management sector, and that both the company and Hamon were seeking suitable acquisition targets.
Brian Raven, group chief executive, said: “In the last financial year our team worked incredibly hard to deliver strong performance - significantly increasing Ebitda and growing Fum for the sixth consecutive year.
"The performance of the Acumen Protection Portfolios has been exceptional and underpinned the profitability of the investment management business.
“Our advisory business has also performed particularly well, stepping up to support clients in these challenging times and to mitigate the adverse effect that the lockdown is having on new business.”
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