Andrew Poxon and Alex Cadwallader of Leonard Curtis have been appointed as joint administrators.
Liberty SIPP sold its business and customer assets to EBS Pensions, part of Embark Group, in October 2018 after Liberty was faced with mounting claims, some submitted via Claims Management Companies. The legal entity Liberty SIPP Limited was not part of the sale.
The FCA said that administrators would be writing to former clients of Liberty in the next few days about claims.
The FCA said the administration follows a number of binding decisions from the Financial Ombudsman Service where the company was advised that it was insolvent based on the number of potential claims relating to high-risk non-standard investments.
Liberty SIPP was advised it should enter administration to provide protection for creditors including former customers, said the FCA.
The FSCS will now look at claims and is able to compensate clients up to £85,000 per person. It has not been disclosed how many claims may be above that amount.
The FCA has urged Liberty SIPP clients to be cautious if they are approached by Claims Management Companies and says for the vast majority of Liberty SIPP clients there will be no benefit in using a third party to make claims. Clients are also advised to be wary of scammers claiming falsely to be from Liberty SIPP or the administrators targeting them. They should take care to check details.
Embark Group, owner of a number of SIPP firms including Rowanmoor and Hornbuckle, acquired the assets of Liberty SIPP in 2018 in a move which resulted in the Liberty SIPP business being wound up.
At the time Manchester-based Liberty SIPP was facing mounting litigation over past SIPPs business but a spokesman denied the deal with Embark was a ‘fire sale’ and said that Liberty was “solvent, trading profitably and growing.”
John Fox, managing director of Liberty SIPP, said at the time that the deal would ensure continuity for clients and was a good fit.