A former adviser at collapsed IFA Active Wealth (UK) has had to change his firm's name from Fidelis Wealth Management after asset management giant Fidelity issued him with a legal threat.
Active Wealth (UK) was the first firm to suspend its permissions after Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) intervention over transfer advice given to British Steel Pension Scheme members in 2017.
Last year New Model Adviser® revealed that Wolverhampton-based Fidelis Wealth Management had bought the client bank of Active Wealth (UK) following its collapse in February 2018. Fidelis was run by Andrew Deeney, who was previously a self-employed adviser at Active Wealth (UK).
According to the FCA register Fidelis changed it name to to Fortuna Wealth Management on 8 November 2018. 'The reason for the change is due to us being contacted by solicitors acting for Fidelity Investments, who objected to us trading as Fidelis Wealth Management as it could be construed by members of the public that the two companies were connected,' Deeney said in a letter to clients.
'After taking legal advice on this, we decided the simplest outcome was to change the company name rather than become involved in a legal wrangle, which would cost valuable time and money to fight.'
Deeney told New Model Adviser®: ‘I thought it was harsh when I received the notice. I took legal advice and the consensus was that it would be easier to change the company name rather than become embroiled in a lengthy and costly legal dispute.’
A spokesman for Fidelity confirmed that the multinational investment firm had indeed sent a cease and desist demand letter to Fidelis which led to the name change.