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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

DSL Fine Wines Ltd – another 'wine investment' company to avoid!



DSL – leading wine merchant!!

average returns of 18-28% pa !!!

'We use the specialist wine storage facilities of Vinotheque'
Not so! No DSL account at Vinothéque - part of LCB   


Formed as recently as 28th January 2015 DSL Fine Wines Ltd is yet another 'wine investment' company we could well do without. Being a 'leading wine merchant' after less than three months trading is decidedly impressive – if a tad unlikely!

The company is run from a residential address in West Wickham – slightly to the west of Bromley. The sole director is 26-year-old Daniel Southey (DOB: 11.11.1988). On his DSL website Daniel Southey falsely claims that the company has an account at Vinothéque, part of London City Bond and that they offer two years free storage there. Neither DSL Fine Wines Ltd nor Daniel Southey have an account at Vinothéque. Indeed David Hogg, sales director at LCB and who runs Vinothéque, has never heard of Daniel Southey or DSL Fine Wines Ltd.

DSL Fine Wines Ltd claims that wine investment will bring you long-term returns on average of 18-28% per year. A quick look at the Liv-ex indices will show that this is complete rubbish and a cynical attempt to mislead potential investors.   

The DSL Fine Wines Ltd cellar plan is an exact copy of that of Berry Bros & Rudd, who have been informed and who will be taking the appropriate action. 

Trading Standards should note that the DSL Fine Wines Ltd website (registered on 8th February 2015) carries no Terms & Conditions. 

Daniel Southey's CV: from hair stylist to alternative investments thru diamonds etc.

 Daniel Southey CV: hair stylist with Antonio – 
senior sales executive with MC Investment Professionals Ltd – CEO DSL fine wines



 Daniel Southey – diamond broker, hairstylist


 Daniel Southey: senior sales executive at mc investments

 MC Investment Professionals Ltd: 
Founded 14.9.2012, dissolved 30.12.2014
brochure claimed to offer financial advice pensions etc. 
Neither Bromley based company nor individuals on FCA approved register 
Fortunately the company was short-lived


Flying pigs territory: 'We have long-standing experience 
in all aspects of investment consultancy.'


I would not touch DSL Fine Wines Ltd with a very long barge pole. 

         

  

Friday, 3 April 2015

APW Asset Management in liquidation: possible appointment of liquidator



Now that APW Asset Management Ltd has been wound up in the public interest I expect that the Insolvency Service will now seek to appoint an insolvency practitioner to wind up the company and do the necessary investigation. This this case it will be important that, if an independent practitioner is appointed that they do a thorough investigation into not only the running of APW Asset Management but also to discover who is behind Big Wine Company Ltd, the chief shareholder of APW Asset Management Ltd and what links there may be to other wine investment companies.

See here.

As previously I have agreed to post the following notice for the information of creditors of APW. If there are other insolvency practitioners who also wish to be appointed liquidator of APW, I will be happy to post notices from them, too.   

Message from David Ingram of Grant Thornton  
'Following the winding up of APW Asset Management Ltd it is likely that the Official Receiver will convene a meeting of the company’s creditors to appoint an independent Insolvency Practitioner as liquidator of APW.  At the time of writing the date for the creditors’ meeting has not been set.  The appointment of the independent liquidator will be based upon the value of creditors supporting the nomination of that Insolvency Practitioner.  I am aware that David Ingram of Grant Thornton is seeking the appointment as liquidator in this case; David and his team have dealt with a number of fraudulent wine investment companies, notably Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd and Fine Wine Vintners Ltd.  David specialises in contentious insolvency appointments – those cases that require a thorough investigation as to the background of the insolvency and the dealings of the directors of the company. David’s email address is david.ingram@uk.gt.com and has advised me he is happy to answer queries from creditors of APW.'

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Scam APW Asset Management Ltd wound up in public interest


 
APW Asset Management Ltd was wound up in the public interest in the High Court, Manchester yesterday. The company had clear links through directors with the Bordeaux Wine Company Ltd see here. I trust that the Insolvency Service will now be looking at these links. The owner(s) of the parent company – The Big Wine Company  – have yet to be identified.   

Press release from Insolvency Service:   
Misleading wine ‘investment’ company with ‘shadowy’ majority shareholder closed down following Insolvency Service investigation


First published: 26 March 2015
APW Asset Management Ltd, a company which sold Australian wines to clients for investment and capital growth purposes, has been wound up by the High Court in Manchester on 25 March after making baseless claims that misled investors. 

An investigation by the Insolvency Service found the company made a string of patently false claims as to the soundness both of the potential investment returns and of how wines sales would be handled.  

In addition, the court heard that the company operated with a lack of transparency as to ownership and control. None of the company’s directors or personnel were able to provide information on the whereabouts or, indeed, existence of its 95% majority shareholder; and the control of the company does not appear to have rested with the appointed directors.

The company’s website claimed “APW proudly occupies the role of a ‘fiduciary’ in all its dealings, providing clients with a rare opportunity to obtain uncompromising and genuinely independent advice, free from conflicts of interest”. In contrast to this claimed role of fiduciary the investigation found that:
  
• since 2013 the main source of income for APW was from buying back wine from clients and reselling this wine to new clients, a process known as repack sales. Repack sales accounted for 91.2% of APW’s income by March 2014

• these repack sales resulted in the selling clients suffering an average loss of 44.3% on the price they had originally paid to APW for the wine


• APW then sold the same wine to new clients at an average profit mark up of 81.3%


• the new clients were unaware that the wine they were buying had been sold by other APW clients who had suffered sizeable losses


• the selling clients were led to believe that their wines were being sold by APW on the open market and not to new clients at a considerable profit to APW


• APW exploited the selling clients further by delaying or withholding payments due to them, including failing to remit in excess of £50,000 to the estate of a deceased client. The selling clients were falsely told that delayed remittances were attributable to extended settlement terms or to sales being made overseas when, in reality, the wine had been immediately sold to a new client who had made prompt payment to APW. The total amount due to clients in respect of unpaid remittances is estimated to be £600,000


• the delayed issuing of sales invoices and remittances to the selling clients has created confusion as to which client has legal title to the same wine by the company’s own calculation there is a deficit of 19,482 bottles of wine that should be held at a bonded warehouse on behalf of clients


Commenting on the case, Colin Cronin, Investigation Supervisor, said

APW used high pressure sales methods which emphasised the growth potential of its wine. Yet the viability of APW, in the latter years at least, depended upon its clients suffering losses on the wine they had bought for investment purposes. The company then cynically sold this same wine to new clients at a considerable profit for itself. This conduct is the very opposite of the fiduciary duty the company owed to its clients. 

These proceedings show that The Insolvency Service will take robust action against companies which operate against the public interest in this way.


I am aware that APW clients are now being targeted by a variety of businesses who falsely claim to have buyers for the wine, or to be able to release wine held by APW, or who are offering wine management services for the payment of upfront fees. I would urge clients to exercise great caution if approached by companies which purport to be able to assist in recovering their past losses. 

Similarly I would urge anyone cold-called and pressured to invest in any kind of investment to simply end the call as genuine investments are not likely to be sold in such a manner.

Notes to editors

APW Asset Management Ltd – company registration number 4618582 - was incorporated on 16 December 2002 under the name of Australian Liquid Assets Ltd. It changed its name to Australian Portfolio Wines Ltd on 22 January 2003 and to its current name, APW Asset Management Ltd, on 29 January 2013. The company’s registered office is at Pacific House, 382 Kenton Road, Harrow, Middlesex HA3 8DP.

The petition to wind-up APW Asset Management Ltd was presented under s124A of the Insolvency Act 1986 on 18 March 2015. The company was wound up on 25 March 2015 and the Official Receiver has been appointed as liquidator.


Company Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service, uses powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS). Further information about live company investigations is available.

All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit, 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London, SW1P 2HT. Telephone: 0207 637 1110 Email: piu.or@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk.