Elysian Fuels, an ambitious renewable energy project that attracted up to £180 million in investments through Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs), recently saw its share price plummet to zero. The unfortunate twist of events highlights the importance of understanding the risks involved in SIPP investments.
Elysian Fuels: The Backstory
- Backed by Future Capital Partners, Elysian Fuels once promised high returns to investors. However, declining oil prices have since nullified these potential returns.
- Future Capital Partners isn’t unfamiliar with controversy. The firm, which has a history of involvement in various film investments, is currently under investigation for potential tax evasion schemes.
Celebrities Caught in the Elysian Fuels Debacle
- Notable personalities, such as ex-snooker world champion Stephen Hendry, former Liverpool football club manager Rafael Benitez, and ex-Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, had invested in the energy project.
- Interestingly, Future Capital Partners has previously attracted other big names, including ex-managers Alex Ferguson and Sven-Göran Eriksson, in a film-investment tax avoidance scheme.
SIPP Mis-Selling: A Persistent Issue
- Besides celebrities, many ordinary working people have been ensnared in the Elysian Fuels debacle, often due to professional advice. Many were advised to invest their SIPPs without being sufficiently briefed on the inherent risks.
- This incident mirrors the ongoing issue of SIPP mis-selling. In August 2015, Harlequin Properties, an unregulated property business, made headlines for losing millions of pounds of investors’ money, most of which came from SIPPs.
The FCA Steps In
- In response to a surge in complaints, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced plans to investigate advisors who have recommended high-risk investments to clients with SIPPs.
- The FCA’s decision is a positive development for SIPP investors, signalling that regulators are taking notice of the mis-selling issue. This is particularly relevant for those who have relied on industry professionals and received poor advice – a common theme among Elysian Fuels investors.
If you are concerned about your SIPP investment or think you may have been mis-sold a SIPP, get in touch with our team for help and advice.