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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Shamed pensions director sacked by Swiss finance firm

One of the bosses of a firm named and shamed for misusing clients’ pension funds has been sacked from his senior role with a top finance firm in Switzerland.

Anton Taylor
Anton Taylor

The dismissal of Anton Taylor came days after The Cumberland News contacted his employer and revealed his involvement in the disgraced company Quintillion Asset Management Ltd.

It has also now been confirmed that Cumbria police has been asked to investigate what happened at the firm.

Quintillion collapsed two years ago with debts of more than £2.4 million, leaving investors with huge losses. Government investigators confirmed that the firm’s three directors – Carlisle-based David Frederick Taylor, 69, of Pinecroft, off Kingstown Road; his son Anton David Taylor, 46, formerly of Balham, London and Simon Mark Silva-Peake, 41, from London – squandered tens of thousands of pounds of their clients’ money.

They allowed the transfer of almost £660,000 of customers’ funds into high-risk investments without their permission and also put just over £2m more into “inappropriate” investment schemes.

The three, whose headquarters was at Warwick Mill Business Park near Carlisle, have all been given lengthy bans from running firms.

Until last week, Anton Taylor was working as a manager at the Geneva-based firm Forth Capital, which advises expats and executives on pensions, investments and tax.

Robert Harris, a partner with the firm, said yesterday: “I can confirm that he [Anton Taylor] is no longer with us. His contract has been terminated.”

Mr Harris said that Swiss confidentiality laws prevented him from revealing any more about their internal investigation of Taylor but pointed out that his actions with Quintillion became public only last week and that stringent checks of his background – including references – had suggested nothing untoward.

During his time at Forth Capital, he added, his work was routinely checked.

It emerged last week that the Government’s Insolvency Service identified eight Quintillion clients whose losses ranged from between £31,000 and £297,000. But members of an action group set up by victims of the firm suggested there are more people who lost out.

One of them, who lost £110,000 from his pension but has asked not to be identified, told The Cumberland News that he welcomed the dismissal of Anton Taylor.

He said: “We’re pleased that he’s been dismissed.

“Now we want the police to do what the police should do and we want these people to go to court. Everybody affected by this has been absolutely devastated.

“You build up trust over many years and for us that trust just got wiped out.”

The man said that the action group have urged Cumbria Police to investigate the running of Quintillion.

Investigators spent two years looking into the firm, but they said last week that their task was made far more difficult because Quintillion’s bosses failed to provide accounting records.

All three men accepted a ban on them acting as directors.

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