Alfred Kemfe

Fortitude Capital goes into administration

Fortitude Capital has collapsed into administration. Neil Bennett & Alex Cadwallader of Leonard Curtis have been appointed as administrators.

The administrators were appointed by a secured creditor, which based on Companies House’s list of charges is most likely to be Fortitude’s Security Trustee, More Group.

I reviewed Fortitude Capital’s bonds in September 2018 and noted that, despite Fortitude’s owner Ajaz Shah claiming in literature that “The foundation of Fortitude is capital preservation”, the bonds were inherently high risk.

ajazshahfortitudeFortitude CEO Ajaz Shah

Owner Ajaz Shah was a director of MJS Capital for a single day. In my original review of Fortitude, I noted that MJS Capital had stated that it held a forex investment with a former MJS director, which I speculated was Shah’s Fortitude Capital. Shah denied this. Falsely, as it turned out.

I can clearly state that my company Fortitude Capital Ltd has never managed funds for MJS Capital Plc. – Ajaz Shah, October 2018

The last administrators’ report for MJS Capital confirmed that in reality, MJS invested £6 million with Fortitude, and only a month before Shah’s inaccurate denial, had agreed with Fortitude to write this down to £1.6 million.

Fortitude’s 2018 bonds offered investors up to 12% per year and were promoted by Direct Property Investments, an unregulated introducer which also promoted MJS. The investment literature did not disclose that Fortitude’s was in enough financial difficulty for MJS Capital to accept a 75% write-down of its investment with Fortitude a few months later.

In unaudited accounts filed for March 2019, Shah claimed that the company held £7.4 million in net assets. How much is left in the company remains to be seen. In theory, given that Fortitude Capital claimed to generate returns via forex trading, Fortitude’s assets should consist mostly of whatever liquid currency it was trading at the time.

Prior to collapsing into administration, Fortitude had handed to MJS Capital’s administrators the sum of £140,960 and a Porsche with a second-hand value of £70,000. As at May 2020 the administrators were negotiating a payment schedule with Fortitude for the outstanding balance of £605,000. Fortitude’s collapse into administration presumably makes those negotiations moot.

At time of writing the administration has not been announced on the Gazette or Companies House. An anonymous reader informed me of the administration which was confirmed by the administrators. More to follow when the administrators report.

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