A financial advice firm that promoted property investments that included the resorts under construction in the Caribbean that are part of Harlequin Property has gone into administration.
Tailormade Independent Ltd gave advice on self-invested pensions involving Harlequin development until the Financial Conduct Authority made a public announcement raising concerns about the investments.
The company, based in Warrington, Cheshire, claims advice on Harlequin related investments was stopped soon after the FCA warning was made. An internal review was then started into the advice the firm was giving clients.
Paul Finnity of RSM Tenon Restructuring, which is consulting for Tailormade Independent, said: “We are working with the directors of Tailormade Independent Ltd towards bringing forward the liquidation of the company.
“With this in mind, a creditors’ meeting has been called for October 2013, at which time we will be able to release further information.”
Separately, much speculation has followed the fortunes of Harlequin Property.
Not only has the FCA warned independent financial advisers about recommending the company, but the Serious Fraud Office is also looking at complaints alleging criminal offences involving the company.
A subsidiary firm, Harlequin Management Services (South East) Limited, has entered administration and the firm is working with a group of lawyers representing investors to discuss restructuring options.
Meanwhile, Harlequin won a High Court challenge against a former contractor charged with developing the company’s resorts who allegedly misappropriated £8.5 million handed over to fund construction.
Development halted on Harlequin’s Buccament Bay resort in Barbados in April pending the outcome of the court case.
Victims of wrongdoing
Harlequin and the company’s director David Ames claim that they are the victims of wrongdoing that has starved the company of cash and led to work stopping at the resorts.
Around 3,000 British investors have pumped an estimated £300 million cash into the troubled property group.
Harlequin claims investors owe around £30 million on completed properties, but lawyers counter-claim only 300 out of a promised 6,000 luxury resort properties have been finished.
Besides investment issues, Harlequin has been hamstrung by publicity problems.