Integrity Financial Solutions chief executive Iain Stamp has taken a new role as a director of a life settlement fund.
The head of Integrity, which was censured by the regulator, is one of the directors of Dublin-based Strategic Life Settlement fund that is open to UK investors through the Huet Capital Life Settlement fund. The Huet Capital fund secured FSA authorisation as a qualified investor scheme last week.
The Huet Capital fund is the first life settlement fund to acquire FSA authorisation after securing qualified investor scheme status last week, meaning it will afford investors Financial Services Compensation Scheme protection.
Huet Capital managing director Christopher Finch said he had every confidence in Stamp and was fully aware of the complaints over his geared traded endowment policy business. ‘We have done due diligence and found Iain to be very open and transparent and totally committed to the life settlement market,’ said Finch.
Iain Stamp said the FSA and the Central Bank of Ireland were aware and approved his involvement in the Strategic Life Settlement fund as a director and a consultant via his Life Settlement Consulting business. ‘The Central Bank of Ireland is fully aware of the Integrity issue and has approved me as executive director of an open ended investment company. All the counterparts that make up the Strategic Life Settlement are fully aware of Integrity and have no issue with me at all,’ he said.
‘We are very proud of the fact we spent five years developing the methodology behind the Strategic Life Settlement fund. We have then had a year of negotiation with the FSA to get the feeder fund authorised which makes it the first in the UK,’ he added. ‘The FSA looked at the Irish fund in great detail and that demonstrates the quality of its structure.’
Stamp said he had spent five years and around $5 million developing the Strategic Life Settlement fund to a benchmark standard for the asset class published by US ratings agency AM Best. US asset managers Vida Capital had invested $10 million of seed capital into the Irish domiciled fund, he added.
Stamp has also acted as a consultant to another life settlement fund, Isle of Man-based Utopia TLP Plc. The fund has been suspended since September 2008 because of difficulties pricing and realising its assets. He unsuccessfully sued the fund in December 2008 through the Manx High Court to enforce a contract which would have meant up to 3% commission on the life settlement policies purchased by Utopia would have been paid to Integrity.
He said he had warned Utopia that its domicile and investment strategy would lead to failure and had sued over work that he had not been paid for. ‘We advised the Utopia fund to change the way it was structured…Utopia terminated the advisory agreement because they did not like what we advised them. We actually sued for damages because they owed us a whole load of money and we lost the case for technical reasons.’
Stamp also acts a director of a $1.9 billion life settlement securitisation, Life Asset Trust SA, based in Luxembourg. He continues to contest the FSA decision to censure Integrity for poor sales practices when advising clients and unclear marketing material as an product provider.