Jersey-based financial advisory firm Lumiere Wealth, part of the controversial Providence group of companies, has been officially closed down.
Local reports in The Jersey Evening Post have confirmed that the IFA firm, has been ordered to be wound up leaving many Islanders facing the potential prospect of losing their savings. Lumiere Wealth Ltd, which has operated from offices in Jersey’s Castle Quay since last year, has been wound up following a Jersey Royal Court hearing.
In making the winding-up application, advocate Elena Moran told the Jersey court that investors had wrongly believed that their money was being placed with Providence’s two Brazilian companies. Some investors had been ‘promised’ returns of 14%, the JEP report said.
As reported here in August, Guernsey-based Brazilian debt fund Providence Investment Funds and its manager Providence Investment Management International Ltd were placed into administration, after the directors of both companies resigned.
As reported, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) recently successfully applied to the Guernsey Royal Court to place a Guernsey protected cell company, Providence Investment Funds PCC Limited (PIF), and the fund manager Providence Investment Management International Limited, into administration followed by the placing of the Guernsey based parent company, Providence Global Limited, into liquidation.
The Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) said that it supported the actions of the GFSC, particularly the appointment of administration managers to PIF, which may assist in any recovery of investor monies.
Lumiere Wealth Limited was licensed by the JFSC on the 16 April 2015 as a Class D Investment Business (which allows an entity to advise on investments but not hold client assets).
Investors in Jersey invested in PIF. The JFSC said that it has been working closely with the GFSC on this case given the exposure of Jersey investors. The JFSC has also been investigating the advice provided by Lumiere Wealth Limited to its clients in respect of PIF.
US SEC action
The JFSC also said that is aware of action being taken in the United States by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) against Providence Financial Investments Inc and the Providence Fixed Income Fund LCC, including the founder of the Providence Group Mr Antonio Buzaneli.
On 26 August 2016, Judge Susan Richard Nelson of the District of Minnesota issued an order requiring Anthony Buzaneli to surrender his passports and prohibiting him from leaving the United States until further order of the Court. The order also freezes his assets, requires Buzaneli to provide an accounting and to repatriate all of his assets to the United States. The JFSC added continues to liaise with the US SEC on the case.