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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Twelve By Seventy Five Limited – exchange DRC for an unsaleable investment




Twelve By Seventy Five Ltd, now run by sole director Sultan Rashid, pride themselves on their expertise:  

 'We ensure your portfolio is expertly and reliably managed for the best results and keep in touch with you through portfolio valuations and market forecasts.'

'We provide unique and personal advice on how to make a good financial return within this market.'  

 'We ensure your portfolio is expertly 
and reliably managed for the best results'

For whom, please?

'Perfect wine portfolio?'

Sell us your DRC and we will give 
you a dead duck wine investment 


A good financial return? For whom I have to wonder ...... having been contacted by BV, whose father was persuaded to exchange his portfolio of DRC wines for variants of “Excellence de Belliard” wines, which have proved be a dead duck investment – what a surprise!


 From the Twelve By Seventy Five website 
DRC 2002 cited but curiously no mention of Excellence de Belliard 


Sultan Rashid's Linkedin profile
'My companies goal is to create a straight forward, transparent, personally tailored to the client Wine Investment Brokerage. After working my way up to Senior broker at a previous company I saw a gap in the market. This gap in the market is a wine investment company that solely has the clients best interests as number one priority. This is the future of wine investment.

My passion is inventing new, more innovative ways for people that are new or familiar to the industry to get the best understanding and profits from there investments, with a broker they can trust and rely on to have there (sic) best interest as paramount.


Open letter to Mr Sultan Rashid, Director, Twelve By Seventy Five Limited from BV:


Without Prejudice, save as to costs

I set out below my family’s experience of investing through Twelve By Seventy Five Limited (TBSF). All statements of fact can be evidenced.  


Background

In early 2014 my (now late) father held significant holdings of DRC and other well-known investment grade wines.


At this time, he was contacted by Mr Riccardo De’Nardis, a co-director, along with yourself, of newly formed wine brokerage, Twelve By Seventy Five Limited (TBSF). 


Mr De’Nardis had been involved in the sale of the DRC portfolio to my father (in his previous role at Capital Vintners) and used this former contact to introduce my father to TBSF.


During the next three years my father was advised by, and traded through, TBSF. This led to his existing portfolio being systematically sold to TBSF and reinvested (primarily) in variants of “Excellence de Belliard” wines, purchased from TBSF, at an invoiced value amounting to some £390,000.


These wines have proved to be basically unsaleable:

  • No other broker I have offered them to has been remotely interested in making any offer for them.
  • One broker informed me they were “about as illiquid as it is possible to be” in terms of investment.
  • TBSF has had two failed attempts to sell small tranches of the portfolio, once before my father’s death and once subsequent to it.  

  • TBSF have not been able to recommend any other credible disposal route.

This is despite my father being led to believe that the investments were to be short term in nature; to quote a member of your staff, “flipped” for a quick profit.  In light of these facts I can only conclude that TBSF either offered catastrophically bad (negligent) advice to my father, or deliberately set out to defraud him.  


Recovery To date

Subsequent to my father’s death in February 2017 I reconciled all the transactions he had made with TBSF to both bank statements and to the wines present in his warehouse accounts.


This exercise identified a number of “administrative anomalies”, which led (over time) to the recovery of £32,000 from TBSF. 


Subsequent to this, TBSF agreed to help sell the portfolio off.  However, this did not go well and in Summer 2017 I finally lost patience with TBSF’s increasingly implausible excuses for failing to sell a small tranche of the Belliard portfolio. I therefore formally confronted Mr De’Nardis with my conclusion that the value of the wines had been significantly misrepresented to my father by TBSF (either fraudulently or negligently).


After prolonged exchanges, during which Mr De’Nardis left TBSF suddenly and handed over to you, we eventually reached a “settlement agreement” during Summer 2017, involving the return of the wines to TBSF for a payment of £275,000 spread over two years.  However, you ultimately refused to sign it, claiming to have problems with your business and personal banking arrangements.


Subsequent to this we have managed to agree two additional payments, against threats of a court process being initiated, amounting to £28,000.  This leaves our outstanding claim at £330,000.


Current Situation

TBSF’s accounts to January 2017 show that the two directors at that time, Mr De’Nardis and yourself, were able to take £657,000 in directors’ loans from the business.  The business does not have significant capital, nor any borrowings, so this implies some profitable and highly cash generative trading has taken place.  No direct link to your dealings with my father can be proved from the information available, but I set out below an example of one en-primeur deal TBSF did with him, for which the wines landed in his warehouse account in March this year:


10 cases of L'EXCELLENCE DE BELLIARD PAUILLAC 2015 12X75CL (en primeur) :

Stated in-bond value           £ 10,000

Invoiced value                    £ 21,000

Uplift                                 £ 11,000


The sales invoice does not disclose any such uplift, but I assume that this is your “margin” on what is basically a risk-free transaction for your business.


Subsequent to Mr De’Nardis’ departure, you are now the sole director.  You no longer mention banking issues but continue to claim to be unable to offer any kind of immediate settlement (despite the money potentially available from the repayment of the directors’ loans).  You recently indicated willingness to sign a new settlement agreement but then refused to respond when sent a draft for signature.  In the meantime, it appears that TBSF is changing focus, to work on new ventures, namely “The Wine Drinker” and “Two Thirsty Bulldogs”, and your responses to my emails are often long delayed and incomplete.


This has now been going on for well over a year and needs to be resolved, one way or another.  I have therefore given up on privately discussing this matter with you.  This letter is the first step in a series of escalations I plan to make to bring this issue to a conclusion.  However, I remain open to constructive proposals in relation to how this might be achieved


Yours sincerely

(name withheld to protect my father’s identity)

June 2018

••• 


My view:
What appalling account of an elderly man being misled – either because Twelve by Seventy Five run then by Sultan Rashid and Riccardo De’Nardis had no idea about wine investment despite their claims of expertise or they set out to relieve BV's father of his DRC wines, that are certainly of investment potential, and replace them with variants of “Excellence de Belliard”, which nobody wants to buy. So either gross incompetence or very sharp practice at best.

investdrinks is aware that another client of Twelve By Seventy Five has made a complaint to Action Fraud. I understand that this client, an elderly woman – is this a coincidence or do Twelve-By-Seventy-Five Ltd target the elderly – is down by around £100K on wine that is owed to her. Just two clients are owed £430,000 by Rashid's Twelve-By-Seventy-Five Ltd.

Sultan Rashid has two new ventures* (The Wine Drinker and Two Thirsty Bulldogs), to which I will certainly be giving a very wide berth: 




 His ex-partner Riccardo De’Nardis set up a new company – Dens Global Ltd – on 12th July 2017. I will also be avoiding this company. 

'deformation of character'
* Sultan Rashid objects to the mention of his two new ventures and has threatened me with legal action if news of Rashid's new ventures are no removed from this post:

'You are right with me taking over the company and many changes have taken place since me doing so. The fact you mention my two new companies is deformation of character and I ask for you to remove this ASAP, otherwise I will have no choice to get my lawyers involved and sue you for this. Like i mentioned I have no issue with you mentioned TBSV, due to this situation being directly affiliated with this company. 

If this The wine drinker and Two thirsty bulldogs are not removed from your blog within 24 hours I will have no other option than to take action.' 

Extract of email sent by Sultan Rashid on 26.6.2018 @11.35
 
I have asked Rashid how mention of two companies that he has formed through UK Companies House and cited on his company's website and emails is 'deformation (defamation) of character'. I await Rashid's reply with interest.    
 


 

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