“…the due diligence undertaken was the brochures, sale presentations and (free) trips to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
“SIPP Investors / Pension Transfers would be foolhardy to wait as Professional Indemnity Insurance stops immediately upon an insolvency procedure.”
Regulatory Legal Solicitors special report posted on Barbados Free Press
Harlequin investors are sure to be flabbergasted by today’s posting at Barbados Free Press by UK law firm Regulatory Legal Solicitors and their leading lawyer Gareth Fatchett. Mr. Fatchett was in the news lately as he was successful in achieving some kind of settlement for a handful of Harlequin victims.
Today’s Regulatory Legal Solicitors posting alleges that none of the agents advising folks to invest in Harlequin took the trouble to confirm that Harlequin actually held the land it was selling. No sales agent went to the trouble of obtaining company information about Harlequin’s Caribbean operations. And if you want to talk about “Due Diligence”, the agents confined their research to brochures, Harlequin sales presentations and (presumably free) trips to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Throw in free drinks and a few “hostesses” and Bob’s your uncle… the agents were ready to sell Harlequin and at a tempting 30% commission at that. (Not that we’ve heard of Harlequin doing the “hostesses” thing, but this is the Caribbean ya know!)
Master Agent suspends Harlequin sales
The master agent has apparently stopped selling Harlequin so we’ll have more on that in a bit. That sounds important to us because once the sales stop, how can Harlequin sustain current operations even if they scale back? We’re not even talking about building and new construction, just keeping the place open. There’s no staff worth talking about at the Barbados operations, and that is worth thinking about. Was the master agent “TailorMade” ? Can someone advise? See IFA Online’s article Harlequin distributor pulls plug on new investment.
Mr. Fatchett advises SIPP Investors and Pension Transfers to take action immediately because if Harlequin goes insolvent, that is the the end of Professional Indemnity Insurance. Complain now and if it all goes for a fall, the agents’ insurance might cover something. Wait… and, well, the lawyer doesn’t say other than the agents’ indemnity insurance ends but you can read between the lines for yourself. The post also provides advice for other classes of Harlequin investors, so have a read and make up your own mind, folks!
Discussion in the Comments Section
We’re going to make this post the current place at BFP to discuss the Harlequin situation, so join in and please remember to be respectful to each other and also watch the language, okay?
To keep all current discussion in one place, we’re also going to close off comments on previous articles and direct people here. That will take some time so please be patient.
Marcus @ BFP
As posted at Barbados Free Press by Regulatory Legal Solicitors…
Following the court hearing last Thursday, we are now in a position where we understand the full extent of the land holdings and build costs for the various Harlequin projects.
The court hearing last week resulted in a settlement for our clients. The terms of which are confidential.
A few things are very clear :-
1. No agent went to the trouble of obtaining confirmation as to the land position.
2. No agent went to the trouble of obtaining Caribbean company information.
3. Some of the SIPP providers in the main relied on an external due diligence process in 2010 & 2011. We have confirmation
We have both the land acquisition schedule and an affidavit from the new Harlequin accountant setting out the build costs etc. We are currently running the maths to work out.
HMSSE turnover 2006 – 2011
-less land acquisition costs
-less building costs
This should give us an indication of the actual position of the group. There is no evidence of external investors (into the equity of the business) and no evidence of any development finance.
Once again we find it remarkable that agents / IFA’s / SIPP’s have not seen this. These are accounting basics.
ACTIONS FOR DIRECT INVESTORS
We are not going to post our advice on open forum. If you are a direct investor and fall into one of these categories then please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Buccament Bay Resort Limited investors
Harlequin Property SVG Limited investors (to January 2009)
Finance Agreement investors who have not received payments due to the “banking errors”.
Others Resort Development Companies where completion has passed.
ACTIONS FOR SIPP INVESTORS / PENSION TRANSFERS
Very simply, it would be foolhardy to wait as Professional Indemnity Insurance stops immediately upon an insolvency procedure.
There are two claims to send. One to the IFA and one to the SIPP provider. We have a process for this which is straightforward.
1. We review the pension transfer advice
2. We review the SIPP contract
3. We then send the letters of claim to seek to trigger the PII.
We do not need to solicit work as investors are sensible enough to take precautionary steps. After all, if everything works out well, then nothing is lost.
We get resistance from both agents / IFA firms who continue to seek to justify their advice. A little difficult when it is obvious that the due diligence undertaken was the brochures, sale presentations and trips to SVG. Not really that objective !
The resistance will crumble shortly, particularly now the master agent has suspended selling.
Regulatory Legal Solicitors