If you have any of the AIGO funds, such as the AIGO Residential Property Fund, Commercial Property Fund, AIGO Natural Resources fund, or the AIGO Equity Fund, and you need to ask what they are, then that should be warning sign number one that you’ve been mis-sold your SIPP pension investments.
The AIGO Funds are a collection of high-risk investments, not regulated by the FCA.
They may have been considered suitable investments for people who understand what they are, the risk nature of the investments, and have the money to run those risks.
If you aren’t a sophisticated investor, there’s a chance you were mis-sold the AIGO funds and you may be able to make a claim for any losses.
In short, the AIGO funds are a collection of investments relating to mainly commercial and residential property, and natural resources.
But as of July 2018, the holding company AIGO Holdings PCC received a petition from Guinness Mahon to wind up their business, and like will all high-risk investment, the future of the funds is uncertain.Get started now
The AIGO Funds were always high-risk investments: non-standard and listed on the Mauritius Stock Exchange (not regulated by the FCA).
Because of the high-risk nature of the investments, financial advisers should be checking that prospective investors has sophisticated knowledge of investing, and had enough money to accept the risks that the investments represented.
But at least two financial advice firms: Financial Page (trading as Andrew Page) and Henderson Carter Associates seem to have regularly given negligent advice to invest. Both companies have now ceased trading after a barrage of claims from SIPP investors who later realised their advice was not suitable.
It wasn’t until 2016 that big action was taken, with the Financial Conduct Authority ordering the holding company to cease all new investments through pensions, and stopped them from offloading any assets without the FCA’s permission.
If you invested in the AIGO funds as part of a SIPP pension, then you may have been mis-sold by a financial adviser, meaning you may be able to make a claim.
Then you may have been mis-sold, and you could be able to make a claim for negligent pension advice.Speak with an expert
The GXG Stock Exchange which HJ Liquid Assets traded the AIGO funds on closed in 2015.
This reportedly resulted in the many investors missing their coupon payments (their investment returns).
One SIPP provider that took onboard AIGO investments wrote to investors to tell them that the notice period to withdraw money from AIGO had been extended from 12 to 24 months, effectively locking the money in. AIGO investments withdrawn from the Mauritius Stock Exchange as of the 21st March 2016
Financial Page Ltd is also told to stop advising on pension switches to SIPPs.
One of the financial advice firms known to have advised on AIGO investments enters a period of restriction through the FCA, meaning it can no-longer give pension and investment advice.
In 2019, claims relating to the mis-selling of the AIGO funds continue, despite many of the financial advice firms involved having gone out of business.
As of 2018, the FSCS has paid out over £5m in claims relating to the financial advisers connected with mis-sold AIGO investments.
Some of what has happened with the AIGO funds and the way in which they were mis-sold is nothing new.
Mis-sold SIPPs filled with high-risk investments have been a regular occurrence over the past 15 years.
Many cases echo the AIGO scandal, in that people received cold-calls from marketing companies offering free pension reviews, only to be pushed in the direction of an unregulated and unsuitable investment through high-pressure sales tactics.
The problem of mis-sold SIPPs may stretch into the £billions, and if you were advised to transfer to one, you can have the advice you received checked for negligence by our rather clever claims handlers as part of a FREE initial assessment.
A loan note would be provided in turn for an investment in one of the one primary AIGO funds. The money was then supposed to be invested in Residential and/or commercial properties, Natural Resources or equity schemes.
What happened is unclear, but we know that coupon payments back to investors were missed, and the fund was suspended from the Mauritius Stock Exchange.
Later, the FCA took action against the Holding Company too.
Hennessy Jones Limited was an appointed representative of both Henderson Carter Associates and Financial Page Ltd, both advisers linked to the mis-selling of the AIGO funds.
The FCA has stated previously that it had concerns about introducer firms for AIGO, such as Holistic Wealth Management, City Administration Limited and Hennessy Jones.
The AIGO funds themselves are not regulated by the FCA, so you cannot make a claim against the funds in the same way you might make a claim against and adviser for negligent financial advice.
Many people have received tens-of-thousands of pounds in compensation from making claims against the negligent advice of an IFA for telling them an AIGO investment would be suitable for them.
With the investment removed from the stock exchange, and the holding firm told not to jettison any assets without expressed permission, it may be unlikely that the investment is ‘liquid’ enough to sell.