A website titled 'Cater Capital Investment' has been accused of taking literature from an IFA's website, using an investment firm's stock market ticker and using another company's name.
The part of the website that details 'Cater Capital's' so-called "Unique Approach" looks to have been copied and pasted from financial advice firm Alan Steel Asset Management's website. It even says the firm provides "two bespoke newsletters per month written by our Chairman (Alan Steel) and our Managing Director (Steve Forbes)".
The website claimed it is "one of the largest asset managers in the world", although the phone contact listed is a mobile number. It went straight to voicemail when Professional Adviser tried to call it on a number of occasions.
'Cater Capital' also claims that it "provides equity, loan and mezzanine funding to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). We also invests(sic) on behalf of high net worth individuals, family offices, institutional investors and public sector organisations across the UK, Europe and the rest of world."
The website also wants people to believe it has "over 1000 professionals managing investment across 24 offices" and that its "investment insights and market perspectives are unique". This line appears to have been stolen from investment giant Aberdeen Standard Investments. The website Cater Capital Investment does not claim to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
As well as being accused of plagiarising the words on its website, it has also been accused of taking the name of the real Cater Capital Investments Ltd, a company based in Aberdeen at the address listed on the 'site. Cater Capital Investments, which trades as Cater Homes and is a property developer, does not have an investment website and said it is in no way affiliated with what it called a "fraudulent website".
A representative for Cater Capital Investments Ltd, which trades as Cater Homes, said the company has contacted the police and were trying to have the website taken down.
Company's stock market ticker
It is not just Alan Steel's firm or the real Cater Capital that the website appears to have been plagiarising, however. The website also makes the claim it has been listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange since 2017, referencing the stock ticker (BRH.L). In fact, that ticker belongs to AIM-listed company Braveheart Investment Group.
What is more, it appears that 'Cater Capital' has not only been using Braveheart's stock ticker, but it also seems as though it has repurposed the investment firm's company accounts.
Braveheart's interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2018 say it created a revenue of £509,000 (2017: £397,000) with a profit of £113,000 (2017: £191,000). The same story can be found on the website in its branding. This apparent revenue of £509,000 is despite the company claiming it is "one of the largest asset managers in the world".
The revenue and profit are not the only pieces of information that the website appears to have taken from Braveheart's interim results. 'Cater Capital' also seems to have copied and pasted vast amounts of Braveheart's accounts, including the CEO statement, dividends update, consolidation updates and much more.
The website also appears to have stolen some of its literature from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
Since being made aware of the situation, Alan Steel AM said it has contacted the police and that its marketing team are trying to have the relevant material removed from the website.
Alan Steel AM chairman Alan Steel said: "What's the point in spending millions on regulations when this can happen. I was told by the person who spotted the infringements that he reported it to the FCA four weeks ago. If that is the case why did they not get in touch with us? What's the point of having an FCA if they don't care?" The real Aberdeen-based Cater Capital Investment has also contacted the police.
Braveheart Investment Group confirmed it was aware of Cater Capital's use of its ticker and company accounts. It has also spoken to the FCA as well as its adviser for AIM. The FCA has been contacted for comment.
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More than 4,500 retail investors affected
Paid out £54m in related compensation
Changes to take place by next year