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Bosses of Failed IFA Join New Firm Leaving Clients to Claim Through FSCS

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Former clients of Pacific IFA have been left to claim compensation through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme as directors join new firm.

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Over the past decade, independent financial advisory firm Pacific IFA was the subject of a large number of complaints relating to high-risk, unsuitable investments in Harlequin Properties. Compensation was paid to clients by the company’s directors. But now, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), the independent, Government-backed service set up to protect clients of financial services when firms fail, has been left to pick up the pieces.

The firm’s former CEO and Managing Director have since set up a new firm, Atlantic Wealth Management, a partner firm of St James’ Place (SJP) wealth management. According to Citywire, while some claims have been covered by partner loans from the former Pacific IFA directors’ new firm, the FSCS is investigating 11 claims against Pacific IFA and has already paid out £206,000 to former clients since May 2023.

Pacific IFA was set up in 2009 by co-directors Mark Pentelow and Stephen Davis and had a portfolio of around 3,000 clients at its peak. In 2014, Pentelow and Davis left the firm to form their next venture, Atlantic Wealth Management, and appointed Pentelow’s brother, Jonathan Pentelow, as director of Pacific IFA until 2020, when its authorisation was cancelled by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the industry regulator. Mark Pentelow and Stephen Davis remained directors of the firm until late 2015.

Between 2014 and 2020, Pacific IFA was subject to 50 Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) complaints relating to Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) investments in unregulated investment company Harlequin. The Financial Ombudsman Service is a Government-backed body responsible for independently investigating disputes between financial services firms, such as Pacific IFA, and their customers.

Pacific IFA was deauthorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2020, after 27 FOS complaints were upheld, and was declared failed in May 2023. It is not clear if the partner loans made available to Pentelow and Davis would have been sufficient to settle all the claims.

As the firm is now failed, the FSCS is able to accept claims against Pacific IFA.


If you, a family member, or friend, are a former client of Pacific IFA, and believe you were given bad advice on your SIPP or other investments, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is accepting claims against the firm. The FSCS can award compensation – up to £85,000 – to customers of FCA-authorised firms that have gone out of business or failed.

Sarah Spruce, Head of TLW Solicitors’ specialist SIPP claims team, commented:

This is another situation where the FSCS have come to the rescue, pick up the pieces and compensate clients of a failed firm.

If you, a loved one, or someone you know, was a client of Pacific IFA and have been left out of pocket due to bad advice, get in touch with my team for an initial conversation, we can explore your options and investigate whether you have a claim with the FSCS. If we think we can help, then we work on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, so you pay nothing if the claim is unsuccessful.

We have an experienced team of specialist lawyers at TLW Solicitors and handle FSCS claims on a daily basis. We work hard to get you the best result as quickly as we can and have the knowledge to navigate complicated claims and appeals processes.

By letting us handle your claim, you can be confident that all the necessary data is provided from the outset, ensuring that nothing is overlooked. We are familiar with the legal and financial jargon that may crop up during the process and can de-mystify this for you throughout the progress of your claim.

You can call us on 0800 169 5925, email info@tlwsolicitors.co.uk, or complete one of the online forms below.

It is vital to get advice as soon as possible, as strict time limits can apply.

Minimum case values may apply.


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