HOLBORN ASSETS (OR LIABILITIES?)

This is the claim made by Holborn Assets’ CEO Bob Parker: “We are professional advisers adhering to the company’s mission which is to ensure that you get quality, independent advice and service, that your money is put in the right place at the right time and that you are treated with integrity and respect. Moreover, our unparalleled relationships with the best product providers help to assure that we make available superior investment and protection solutions for the increasingly sophisticated expatriate community we serve.”

Let’s examine this claim in the context of Holborn victim Glynis Broadfoot.  She was given rotten advice and service in 2011 which resulted in her losing a significant portion of her final salary pension.  Thanks to Holborn Assets, her gold-plated local authority pension was put into high-risk, professional-investor only investments and she then suffered years of extreme worry and distress while she watched the value of her pension plummet.

Far from treating Mrs. Broadfoot with “integrity and respect”, Holborn refused to help her and simply kept taking their fees from her ever shrinking pension pot.

With Holborn recently ordered by the FCA to immediately stop DB pension transfers:

http://www.international-adviser.com/news/1034897/holborn-assets-immediately-cease-pension-transfers

it is now time to put Holborn clearly in the spotlight, make the complaint against them public and correct their claims of “superior investment solutions”.  For several years now I have offered Holborn CEO Bob Parker the opportunity to choose between emerging from this debacle the hero or the villain – but Parker has refused to engage.  However, Holborn’s Caleb Burgess reached out to me on LinkedIn yesterday so I am sure he will be eager to engage with me to help resolve this matter.

Formal Complaint against Holborn Asset Management, Dubai in respect of victim Glynis Broadfoot

Desired Outcomes:

  • Full reinstatement of original pension transfer value
  • Full refund of all fees paid to all parties
  • Interest at the same rate as would have been earned had the fund remained in the original scheme
  • Compensation for the anxiety, stress and pressure which have put at risk Mrs. Broadfoot’s health and life for the past five years

Holborn’s Failures:

  1. False and misleading representations about the investments
  2. Mis-sale of professional-investor-only financial products which were unsuitable for a low-risk investor
  3. Undisclosed fees and commissions which were deliberately concealed
  4. Absence of integrity and professionalism
  5. Firm not licensed to provide pension and investment advice in Spain
  6. Negligent and uncooperative in dealing with the complaint for several years

Summary:

  • Mrs. Broadfoot had been a member of the Local Government Employee Superannuation Scheme for 29 years
  • Holborn advised the transfer of pension to a QROPS with Gower Pensions, Guernsey, using estimated figures to make the transaction appear more attractive
  • Holborn did not advise Mrs. Broadfoot of the benefits of remaining in her final salary secured pension
  • Holborn informed her that the transfer value would be £195,105 – rather than the actual value of £146,376 which gave her false and misleading information about the transfer
  • Holborn subsequently admitted that the investment choices were poor and claimed  that “if there was something (they) could do to turn the clock back (they) would”
  • Holborn did not advise Mrs. Broadfoot of her initial losses and when she complained they were dismissive and assured her they were “only paper losses”
  • Holborn Assets informed her, at the height of her distress over her losses, that they had closed the case, and would not enter into any further correspondence” 
  • Holborn did not disclose their fees of £11K which they were continuing to charge even while her pension was losing money at an alarming rate
  • Fees of £5,594 paid to Gower were not disclosed by Holborn or agreed by Mrs. Broadfoot
  • Due to negligent, inappropriate investments made by Holborn, she has lost a substantial proportion of her pension which may result in having to sell the family home and the possibility of her family having to live on government benefits
  • A Suitability report was undertaken by Holborn Assets which clearly stated: “Annual review to ensure that the underlying investment strategy is still within the member’s attitude to risk” 
  • Annual return was promised at 8% and that Mrs. Broadfoot would never lose any money

Below is an e-mail sent from Robert Parker CEO at Holborn to staff advising them of what to state in an e-mail to Mrs. Broadfoot regarding documentation she had requested:

From:  Bob Parker (robert@holbornassets.com)
Sent: 26 February 2015 07:59:02
To: Caleb Burgess (caleb.burgess@holbornassets.com)
Cc: Simon Parker (simon@holbornassets.com); Philip Parker (philip@holbornassets.com); John Broadfoot (broadfootjf@hotmail.co.uk)

If you have already sent transaction detail change the wording on the holding letter and resend. Something like “the attached was sent to you on xx date we are searching our archives for any further information.”

But no transaction details were ever sent to her by Holborn.

In summary, despite the expensive advice given to Mrs. Broadfoot by Holborn Assets, and assurances that her pension would grow at 8% per annum, she ended up losing nearly a third of her fund.   So contrary to the firm’s grandiose claims on their website, this victim’s money was put in the wrong place at the wrong time and she was treated with complete callousness and contempt.

 

4 thoughts on “HOLBORN ASSETS (OR LIABILITIES?)”

  1. Holborn assets in South Africa shut down their operations in less than 2 weeks and retrenched the staff, FSB in South Africa was starting to investigate. Even the damn labour lawyer had never seen a company retrenchment process executed with such speed. .Holborn assets does not have offices in South Africa, they were shut down and all the staff we given the boot.

  2. There investment vehicles need to be investigated, after some digging around at their investment vehicles, and the fund manager that provide these vehicles, I am telling you now, one look at the website and its screams shelf company, next to no contact information, no address, website is seriously out dated from the late 90’s, assets allocation is absolutely criminal, who allocates assets to futures? with no indication of a specific future either. FCA needs to investigate everything about this company. People have lost bucket loads of money. Life savings gone. They shut down offices in south africa only to crop up somewhere else.

  3. Hi. I am about to invest a considerable amount of money with Holborn Assets. Is this a wise choice? I’d be interested in any comments. Thank you.

    1. How long is your barge pole? Holborn Assets has ruined numerous victims’ retirement savings. Which adviser are you using?

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