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Discretionary Fund Management & SIPP Claims

While some investments are made directly into a scheme, Discretionary Fund Management is a little different.

DFMs build portfolios of investment bonds for people to invest in. These portfolios may be created to produce a balanced effect, spread risk, or be connected to a certain industry.

It means rather than making a single or multiple direct investments, the money is given to a Discretionary Fund Manager to invest “at their discretion”.

DFM funds are often labelled by their supposed attitude to risk (as not all investments carry the same risk – some are unregulated by the FCA and may be high-risk), and can sometimes be identified by “low risk”, “moderate”, “Cautious” or “Adventurous” labels, while others may be grouped by location, eg “South America”.

Either way, what investments are really inside is at the discretion of the fund manager.

This is all well and good, until DFM portfolios get abused, mis-used and mis-labelled.

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Can you claim for Discretionary Fund Management mis-selling?

Several financial advisers, DFM companies and the FSCS have been paying out compensation for the mis-selling of investments via DFMs and SIPPs for a few years, with Spencer Churchill Claims Advice often leading the claim on a No Win – No Fee* basis.

If you:

  • Transferred your pension to a SIPP
  • Invested in a DFM portfolio with high-risk investments
  • Aren’t earning over £100k per year
  • Aren’t a Sophisticated Investor

Then you may have been mis-sold, and you could be able to make a claim for negligent SIPP advice.

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Third Generation DFM Scam

It will come as no surprise to most that the world of investments and finance can get murky, and the mis-selling and mis-use of Discretionary Fund Management portfolios has only made it worse.

Let’s take SIPP pensions for example.

Over the past few decades, some advisers and marketing companies flogged high-risk investments to the general public, despite them often not being suitable for them. This caused many people to be mis-sold their SIPP pensions and often lose thousands from their retirement pots.

Eventually, many people (including the FCA) wised up to this, making it difficult for scammers to slip a high-risk investment past people.

Now, we have seen cases where high-risk investments are being hidden inside DFM portfolios, making it difficult for people to understand what they are actually invested in.

The FCA has reffered to this practice as a “third generation scam“.

Recent DFM timeline of events

2016 - Greyfriars Portfolio Six

In 2016, it was revealed that Greyfriar’s DFM Portfolio Six contained at least 3 high-risk investments. The firm later agreed restrictions to it’s business with the FCA and went into administration in 2018.

2017 - Strand Capital

2017 saw the resignation of key personnel at Strand Capital – another DFM. The FCA agreed restrictions to Strand Capital and the firm is now Authorised but in Special Administration.

2017 - FCA DFM Warning

The FCA wrote a warning on its website about DFMs being involved in Third Generation Scams in 2017.

2018 - Beaufort Securities

In 2018, and undercover FBI sting involving people relating to DFM Beaufort Securities resulted in fraud and money laundering charges. The firm went into administration.

What about your Discretionary Fund Management SIPP?

If you have a Discretionary Fund Management portfolio as part of your SIPP investments, you stand to lose nothing by having it checked out by our team of pension mis-selling claim specialists at Spencer Churchill Claims Advice.

Our free initial assessment service lets you speak with a specialist who can investigate the eligibility of your claim, leaving the choice of how to proceed up to you.

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