A former director of Burlington Associates has been banned and fined by the FCA.
Graig Cameron was said to have acted with a lack of honesty and integrity when it came to the promotion of three unregulated collective investment schemes (UCIS) to retail investors.
Cameron has been fined £350,000 and banned from any involvement in FCA authorised firms.
Whilst a director of London based financial advisory firm Burlington Associates Limited, Cameron helped set-up three high risk property UCISs which invested in developments in Bulgaria, Croatia and Montenegro. During 2005, the three UCISs were promoted to large numbers of retail investors. The FCA maintains that inadequate checks were made as to whether the UCISs were appropriate for the investors. Some £30m was raised by 800 investors and each of the three UCISs failed.
The director of enforcement and financial crime at the Financial Conduct Authority Tracey McDermott said: “Cameron deliberately flouted regulatory requirements, which were designed to safeguard retail investors, in favour of selling high risk UCIS for potentially lucrative gains. The UCIS have failed and the investors, many of whom should never have been exposed to these high risk investments in the first place, have paid a heavy price for his actions.”
The FCA explained in detail how Cameron went about promoting the funds. In a statement it said: “Cameron wanted to involve Burlington (an appointed representative of a network at the time) in promoting and selling investments in the UCIS. However, Burlington’s network principal prohibited these activities. Cameron arranged for a separate advisory firm, Leslie & Nuding (trading as ‘Burlington Funds’ and now known as Leslie & Swallow) to take responsibility for checking investors’ eligibility and sending out promotional materials.
“In reality, a firm under Cameron’s control carried out the vast majority of these activities. Cameron made Burlington and staff under his direction instrumental in every stage of promoting and arranging investments in the UCIS. This was a deliberate breach of the agreement between Burlington and its principal firm.
Cameron knew that his activities created a risk of the UCIS being sold to investors for whom the products were not suitable. He recklessly devised a structure that was likely to provide false assurance that Burlington’s involvement was authorised. Due to his lack of honesty and integrity, Cameron has been now fully banned and fined.”
Cameron left Burlington in January, 2009.