The Rowanmoor Group
The Rowanmoor Group are a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) provider based in Salisbury. Like many other similar businesses, they have a history of accepting a number of unregulated assets into customers’ pension investment portfolios. These include:
Many of those who have chosen to invest in schemes like these were referred by independent financial advisers (IFAs) who had incorrectly advised that their workplace or occupational pensions were somehow deficient. They were convinced by high-pressure sales tactics that they would be better off transferring their pensions into a SIPP, like the ones administered by Rowanmoor – a move that turned out to be disastrous for so many pension holders.
Despite concerns that Rowanmoor permitted customers to add inappropriate investments to their SIPP portfolios, they are still in operation today. In fact, the Group’s figures for their trading year to December 2018 disclosed a huge increase (30%) in profits for their SIPP business – Rowanmoor Personal Pensions. They now have close to 14,000 customers on their books, holding funds in the region of £4.3 billion.
The uplift in business for Rowanmoor was following a series of upheavals made to the organisation in the years prior. In 2016, Rowanmoor Group was bought over by Embark Group, of which Liberty SIPP is another member.
This was a huge change in fortune from 2009 when the then directors of the Group were forced to pump £960,000 into the business following a £1.3 million fraud involving co-director David Seaton that ultimately saw him take his own life. Between 1996 and 2004, plagued by gambling problems, Seaton had removed more than £1 million from a client’s private pension fund.