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Bosses of Gallium, linked to the British Steel pensions and Basset & Gold scandals, made £1.6m

Jim Armitage
·3-min read
<p>British Steel workers were wrongly advised to move from company pension</p> (AFP/Getty Images)

British Steel workers were wrongly advised to move from company pension

(AFP/Getty Images)

The husband and wife owners of Gallium Fund Solutions, the financial adviser linked to the British Steel pension and Basset & Gold minibond scandals, paid themselves £1.6 million in 2016-2018 as they raked in millions of pounds of fees.

Details of the money being made by Tony Norris and his wife Anne emerged in a bitter legal dispute with their co-founder, a Kent dentist and childhood friend called Peter Dooley.

Gallium associates were key to the men and women who lost money in the British Steel pension affair and the Basset & Gold minibonds collapse.

The firm is currently the focus of multiple claims from victims, who will doubtless be unimpressed at how much money Norris had earned from his work.

He has refused to pay out compensation on Basset & Gold and is currently believed to be facing complaints at the Financial Ombudsman Service regarding British Steel.

In the court hearing, it was alleged that Tony Norris generated fees for Gallium of more than £10 million since 2012 and, as well as paying himself handsomely, paid his own children £68,091 while they were still students.

Norris said the payments for him and his children were of the market rate and were appropriate.

The legal battle, which the judge described in his judgement as a “simmering divergence of views” and “acrimonious litigation” stemmed from Dooley’s claim that he was owed millions for his stake in the company.

He and Norris both invested £50,000 of start-up money for Gallium but Dooley stepped back in 2010 to go back into dentistry.

Six years later, after a row at a meeting held in a local pub, Dooley says he was removed as a director “without his consent”.

Norris denied he was removed, saying he resigned.

The judge largely found in Dooley’s favour, declaring Gallium’s affairs had been conducted “in a manner unfair and prejudicial” to Dooley’s interests.

He ordered Norris to pay him £1.2 million for his 50% stake in the business to be paid by 28 April.

In the British Steel case, hundreds of employees had their defined benefit pensions transferred into personal pensions which left them considerably worse off than if they had remained with the workplace scheme. Some were put into self-invested personal pensions managed by Gallium.

Gallium acted as the FCA-regulated “principal” for Basset & Gold in 2017 and early 2018 and many of its 1800 investors have been advised to go to it for compensation since the minibond company’s collapse last year.

Gallium has so far refused payment.

Basset & Gold raised millions of pounds from investors on the back of its high profile sponsorship of West Ham United.

Norris did not respond to a request for comment but has previously denied all wrongdoing in the cases of Basset & Gold and the British Steel Pension scheme. In the latter, he has said the matter has been investigated and Gallium found to have done nothing wrong.

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