Leicester-based pensions firm sold in pre-pack deal

The Sipp administration business of Leicester-based firm Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration Limited (“the Company”) has been sold out of administration in a pre-pack deal to Hartley Pensions Limited.

Adrian Allen and Diana Frangou of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP were appointed as Joint Administrators of Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration Limited on 18 September 2019. 

Immediately following their appointment, the Administrators sold the Company’s business as a going concern to Hartley Pensions Limited. 

Hartley Pensions, which is based in Bristol, has been providing pension products to clients for over 35 years. In addition to white label SIPPs, for a number of investment and trading platforms, Hartley also offers SSAS, ISAs, QNUPS, QROPS and life assurance products. 

Following the sale, Hartley will be assisting the Administrators to provide all clients with an ongoing service, whereby Hartley will either offer to the Company’s clients a new Hartley Sipp plan, or allow clients to transfer to another Sipp plan of their choosing. Hartley will be retaining a number of the former Berkeley Burke administration staff based in Leicester to ensure Sipp transfers proceed in an efficient and timely manner.

Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration Limited went into administration as a result of its inability to cover the financial costs of defending claims made against it in respect of the firm's alleged due diligence failings when accepting high-risk investments.

Any new claims that clients wish to make against Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration Limited are best directed to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the first instance. Those who are ineligible to claim via the FSCS, mainly non-personal clients, are invited to submit their claims to the Joint Administrators. Those who already have a claim with the Financial Ombudsman Service do not need to take any action at the moment.

Adrian Allen, one of the Joint Administrators said: 'Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration Limited's dispute with the decisions of the Financial Ombudsman Service, and the level of client claims it is facing, left the firm with no option but to enter administration. The appointment was made after consultation with the Financial Conduct Authority and with their consent. The sale to Hartley will provide continuity of service to the Company’s clients and ensure the clients' interests are served whilst delivering the best available outcome for both clients and creditors.'

Further information for all affected SIPP clients, including details of how to submit claims against the Company, is available on the FSCS website while claims to the Joint Administrators can be sent to berkeleyburke.restructuring@rsmuk.com.

All other companies within the Berkeley Burke Group continue to trade normally and are not affected by the administration of Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration Limited.