The FCA has found that Mr Craig Stuart Cameron (Mr Cameron) failed to act with honesty and integrity in performing a significant influence function CF1 (Director) at Burlington Associates Limited (Burlington), in breach of Statement of Principle 1 of the Statements of Principle and has imposed a £350,000 financial penalty on Mr Cameron and made a prohibition order preventing Mr Cameron from carrying out any functions in the regulated sector. The action supports the FCA’s statutory objective of securing an appropriate degree of protection for consumers.
Mr Cameron was a director of Burlington, a small independent financial advisory firm based in London, which advised individuals and small to medium sized companies. Burlington was an appointed representative of a network and therefore held limited authority from its network principal. The FCA found that Mr Cameron:
(a) deliberately involved Burlington in promoting and arranging investments in the three unregulated collective investment schemes relating to investments in property developments in Croatia, Bulgaria and Montenegro (Three UCIS), without the knowledge of Burlington’s principal and in breach of Burlington’s agreement with its principal, which did not permit Burlington to conduct UCIS business; and
(b) recklessly devised a structure and participated in a process for promoting and arranging investments in the Three UCIS that was likely to provide false assurance to customers, potential customers and others with whom he dealt that Burlington’s involvement in the Three UCIS was authorised.
Mr Cameron stood to derive personal benefit from Burlington’s role in promoting and arranging the Three UCIS, through commission and fees received from Burlington and from AdminCo as a director of that company which provided services to the Three UCIS (or to Burlington in relation to them).
Burlington’s activities, together with the activities of another IFA (Leslie & Nuding) and two non-authorised companies (AdminCo and MarketingCo), resulted in:
(a) unsolicited mailshots being sent by email to approximately 15,000 potential investors; and
(b) prospectuses being sent to 2,900 retail consumers.
In each case without adequate systems and processes being in place to assess or establish the potential eligibility of the recipients for investments in the Three UCIS in accordance with regulatory requirements, thereby exposing them to the risk of unsuitable sales and consequent loss.
Between April and December 2005, approximately 880 investors invested a total of approximately €38 million in the Three UCIS, mainly on a non-advised basis. The Three UCIS fell into financial difficulties from 2006 and the investors’ original investments may now be virtually worthless.
View FCA final notice 2014: Craig Stuart Cameron, 29 August 2014