Pension Life blog - In the wake of hundreds of victims fearing heavy pension losses in the Blackmore Global fund, we now have another disaster waiting to happen: Blackmore Bond - careless or stupid - how come Paul Careless and Surge Group have got involved with Nunn and McCreesh?In the wake of hundreds of victims fearing heavy pension losses in the Blackmore Global fund, we now have another disaster waiting to happen: Blackmore Bond.

This new threat to unwary investors has been analysed by Bond Review.  Just to be clear, many people were duped into investing their pensions in the Blackmore Global UCIS fund – which has never published an independent audit.  We now have a second threat offered by Phillip Nunn and Patrick McCreesh.  Blackmore Bond PLC is promoting these unregulated, capital-at-risk bonds which purport to pay up to 8.5% per annum – but with potential for total loss.  How many more people will this high-risk bond ruin financially?


Bond Review raises an intriguing question: how come Paul Careless and Surge Group have got involved with Nunn and McCreesh?  Unless he has been careless (pun intended), Careless looks to have an unblemished past and Surge (in Brighton) looks to be a bona fide company.

In 2017, Careless’ company Surge Group offered £3,000 in sponsorship to the Kent Police rugby team.  This was accepted, but then he tried to change the sponsor from Surge Group to Blackmore Bond.  And Blackmore Global started claiming on their website to be “Proud supporters of Kent Police Rugby Team”.  So why would Careless – himself an ex-police officer – try to con the police and also get into bed with Nunn and McCreesh?

Let us just remind ourselves that Messrs Nunn and McCreesh were the cold callers/lead generators in the Capita Oak and Henley Retirement Benefits scams which are now under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.  Nunn and McCreesh scammed/attempted to scam up to 300 victims a month for more than two years.  Unsurprisingly, Kent Police declined the toxic offer to have any association between a law-enforcement agency and known scammers.

Pension Life blog - BLACKMORE BOND - SHAKEN OR STIRRED - CARELESS OR STUPID?- Kenneth "Buzz" West also appears at first glance to be relatively harmless. He is a director of numerous companies - including European Wealth.But here’s another puzzle: a geezer called Kenneth “Buzz” West also appears at first glance to be relatively harmless.  He is a director of numerous companies – including European Wealth.  The only stain on his reputation that I can find is that his former company, Ashcourt Rowan, was fined £412k by the FSA in 2012 for dodgy investments in his other company: Savoy Group.  But Ashcourt Rowan held its hands up and paid the fine.

So why on earth would “Buzz” risk getting tangled up with Nunn and McCreesh?  Buzz is now Chairman of two of their companies: Blackmore Group and Blackmore Bond.  Unless his brains are shaken as well as stirred, he is committing professional suicide – knowingly and deliberately.

Or perhaps I am being too harsh.  Maybe he has taken on the role of Chairman so that he can ensure that Blackmore Bond does not sell any toxic, high-risk products to low-risk victims; and also so that he can get the long-overdue Blackmore Global fund audit done.  Maybe he also has plans to get the Blackmore Global victims compensated for their losses and distress suffered in the past couple of years.

We need to be very clear about Blackmore Global: it is a UCIS fund that was illegally promoted to retail investors in the UK and which unregulated David Vilka of Square Mile International was flogging to UK victims in the Hong Kong QROPS scam.  This accounted for 64 victims with a combined transfer value of £1.6 million – all introduced by cold-calling firm Aspinall Chase – run by Nunn and McCreesh.

Pension Life blog - Blackmore Global - blackmore bond- Companies House, Kenneth Buzz West is a Cypriot and resides in Cyprus.According to Companies House, Kenneth Buzz West is a Cypriot and resides in Cyprus.

It just so happens that I am going to Cyprus in a couple of weeks – so hopefully he will invite me for a wee drop of Zivania and Halloumi on toast.  And once our whistles are whetted, we can discuss the Blackmore Global audit and compensation.



  1. Well. Kenneth “Buzz” West looks like an honest businessman. I wonder if he really knows what he has taken on. This begs the question, why would you take on a business that rips off innocent savers? I might just send him my “story” and see what he does next.

  2. “Careless looks to have an unblemished past” – well, other than being behind a multi-level marketing company that BehindMLM described as “a recruitment driven pyramid scheme” (, and went bust in 2015.

    And planning to launch a second multi-level marketing company that, in its own words, uses the same business model – see my comment on BehindMLM.

    Then there is an allegation elsewhere on the Internet about a dangerous driving incident during his time as a Sevenoaks police constable, but I haven’t been able to substantiate that.

  3. And I failed to mention the most relevant fact – Surge also runs the investor call centre for London Capital & Finance, which has exactly the same business model as Blackmore Bond.

    Whether they run any other outsourced contact centres for providers of unregulated minibonds is not known. Either way, the fact that Surge works for Blackmore Bond is not an isolated case.

    1. Stephen Sefton

      @Malthusian, I have a couple of questions: –
      a) How do you know Surge runs the investor call centre for London Capital & Finance? I cannot find evidence
      b) How do you know Surge works for Blackmore Bond? ie there is a business relationship and not just that Careless is a personal friend of the director(s)/employee(s)?

      1. I don’t have any evidence, but it was alleged by a potential investor who rang London Capital & Finance’s investor call centre, and it seems extremely unlikely that someone would make it up.

        Surge is a marketing company for financial services providers. Finding a potential sponsorship beneficiary to wear a company’s logo is marketing. There’s no suggestion Surge was working for free, even if their directors are mates.

  4. Stephen Sefton!!!!/page4

    says it all really.

    ps. Bait-and-Switch by the way is a marketing tactic often considered dishonest where a firm advertises a product at a really low price to attract customers only then to present those customers with a “similar product” at a higher price. In this context, with sponsorship of the Police Rugby Team, it has been used analogously because the only discernible reason why sponsorship application is made by one company only to request a switch to another after approval is obtained, is a “similar deception” – why not make the application for Blackmore in the first place – a question implied by BondReview? I guess we will never know.

    However, given the shed load of hard evidence I have (and many people have seen, including all the actors in the case of my mis-advised pension transfer) on the deceitful practices by Tweedledum & Tweedledee to appropriate innocent people’s pensions, their use of a “Bait-and-Switch” tactic is not hard to accept. You would however, expect an ex-policeman to have higher standards and integrity than to engage with them in this.

    1. Stephen Sefton

      the !!!!/page4 is part of the link but it seems wordpress has erroneously decided it is not so if you click that link you start at page 1 and there are many pages but Mr. Careless adds to the thread on page 4. I was on page 4 when I copied the link.

  5. Update: 19/6/2018
    According to the Blackmore Group Annual Return, Intro, page 2, last para, ( which you can access from here ) Surge Financial Ltd are “sourcing new investor funds” for the Blackmore Bond and getting c. 20% for it in what they call “distribution fees” which in my opinion is essentially a euphemism for “commission”, which of course they aren’t allowed to call it since the RDR of 2012!

    This means it looks like Nunn & McCreesh have outsourced the job, that was previously done by Aspinal Chase, to Surge Financial Ltd.

    Aspinal Chase directors and employees have attempted to eradicate all evidence of their involvement in the company (unsuccessfully I might add because I have hard evidence of their participation in the mis-advised transfer of my pension) because it directly linked them with the investors of their own unregulated fund, Blackmore Global, even though they made fraudulent misrepresentations in writing they never had contact with, or knew who were, the beneficiaries of Blackmore Global – claiming all investors were institutions and not retail clients. They mistakenly believed the offshore QROPS, placing the investment instructions, was sufficient to shield them from any knowledge the beneficiaries were retail clients since it was unlawful to promote this fund to them.

    By outsourcing the recruitment of investors they break that link. However, you can’t eradicate the evidence that they were fully aware of, and complicit in, the unauthorised transfer of retail pensions into their unregulated collective investment, in a business arrangement with Square Mile International Financial (owned by Lillywhite), as evidenced by an email Angie published:

    More detail here on the scam here: …

    I would love to engage in a dialogue with investors of the Blackmore Bond – especially if bought by transferring your pension- and were sold the bond via Surge Financial Ltd. I am keen to get another piece of the new puzzle and find out who the IFA(s) was/were? You can contact me through Angie.

    1. Stephen (not sure how to contact Angie!)

      I’m so pleased to have found this expose of the 2 promoters of Blackmore Bond PLC. I was quite seriously examining this proposition, as a result of a quarter-page advertisement in the ‘i’ newspaper a few weeks ago: MAKE YOUR MONEY GROW – BLACKMORE BOND OFFERING 9.9% EVERY TEAR, CAPITAL AT RISK in bold green and white on a black background. Absolutely no small print (other than a caution about the availability of tax-relief on the ISA version) and only a freephone number and a web-link. So they are clearly being promoted to retail investors – and quite openly.
      I’ve read through the Companies House documents about the company, which seem to show a properly established outfit including appropriate charge documents in favour of the Security Trustee for the benefit of the Bondholders, and secured loan documents in respect of third party financing for 2 projects – with full 2017 Report and Accounts, which go into some detail about the ‘distribution service’ contracted with Surge. This has cost over £5m in the year (half of which is taken to be for ongoing servicing of the investors and is carried forward to be amortised over the life of the bonds) – covering around £25m of loans from investors: as you say, a 20% fee, which DID raise my eyebrows.
      The directors state that the company is dependant on a continuing flow of investors money (currently running at £1.5m per month) to remain a going concern, so accept it as a material uncertainty, which the auditors (Grant Thornton again) draw attention to (without qualifying their opinion).
      Thank you for keeping these guys’ past activities in the public arena.
      I have been warned!

  6. Dear Stephen,
    Bless you for being there.
    I do have a wary eye on “if its to good to be true it probably is etc” but i am not that cynical and always think positively.
    Well Blackmore bonds got my attention when they quote:-
    “” Security:
    Your capital is insured by a policy arranged by a Lloyd’s of London broker and underwritten by Northernlights Surety should the firm go into insolvency. Restrictions may apply. “”
    One has to wonder what the restrictions are of course.
    I now have a broker? or more likely the sales rep from Blackmore Bonds chasing the seven bells out of me ( he rang me whilst I was still filling in the on line application form. – that’s either v v keen, or slightly spooky depending on ones view point ! )
    I am sure you are familiar with their web site :-

    You / we need to ensure cowboys like this dont flourish and here is one person who will not be investing his six figure retirement fund into Blackmore Bonds thanks to you – long may you flourish 🙂

  7. I nearly “invested” in Blackmore Bonds a while ago but had the good sense to do some due diligence on the Directors and what I found appalled me. Red flags everywhere. I wrote a critical review on Trustpilot that they tried hard to suppress which is now buried among all the many that praise the “customer service” and “easy investment”. If you search my name there though you will find it. They have recently stopped accepting any more money and it stinks. This is a version of a pyramid scheme. They depend on incoming money to pay the “interest”. Without that they are done. The Directors I am quite sure will do a runner, as they have connections with both Cyprus and Gibraltar. The “insurance” is worthless as it is written somewhere in the Caribbean and who-ever wrote it will just fold. This is going the same way as “London and Capital Finance” only will be bigger. I tried warning people!

  8. Malcolm P. Ward

    The basic problem with the Financial Conduct Authority is that the entity is a Regulator and not an Educator. The consequences are as follows:
    1. Via the Regulator cap the FCA waits and waits until there is mountain of gory financial mess before even considering action
    2. An adequate Educator cap would require submission of ALL promotion documents, relating to defined classes of financial products, and resulting contracts to meet specified prior approval standards if the promotion entity was below a pre-determined solvency rank.

    As it is the chancers and fraudsters continue to have a field day, moving from one acreage to another with a bounty harvest each time.

    1. You are spot on. The FCA is a very expensive failure. At least the Spanish regulator is taking its duties seriously – and is actually doing the FCA’s work. However, I doubt the head of the Spanish regulator gets paid an obscene salary like the FCA’s CEO Andrew Bailey. £600k a year is an awful lot to pay a man to sit and knit willy warmers all day long.

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