in UK

Is there a link between Wellz Zable and Carbon Neutral Investments?

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUpon

Wellz Zable is another company based in London that is selling carbon credits as investments. “Carbon credits provide investors with a unique opportunity to become involved in an innovative and rapidly growing asset class,” the company claims on its website, “whilst also helping to mitigate the worlds emission of carbon dioxide.”

Wellz Zable was founded on 12 July 2012. It has one director, 27-year-old Christopher Marcel Newell.

The company claims to deliver, “independent and comprehensive investment advice across the clean energy industry and carbon markets”. It specialises in selling voluntary carbon credits.

The quality of the “investment advice” that Wellz Zable gives is called into question by some of the statements on its website. For example, under the headline “What are Carbon Credits” is the following gem:

The dramatic growth of the Carbon Credit market to date shows just how much potential exists in a market which is only now beginning to be embraced by players as significant as America and China neither of which is an actual signatory to the Kyoto Protocol.

“America” presumably refers to the US. While the US has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol (and never had any intention of doing so), it signed the Kyoto Protocol on 12 November 1988. China signed the Kyoto Protocol on 29 May 1998, and ratified it on 30 August 2002.

Wellz Zable also claims that investors,

may consider the Voluntary market to be attractive financially and see good reason to hold a portfolio of credits.

Of course they “may” do so, but as Andrew Ager, ex-head of Carbon and Emissions at Bache Commodities, points out,

“You would only buy voluntary carbon credits to offset your carbon foot print. There is no other economic reason.”

And under the heading “Who are Wellz Zable” (where absolutely no information is given about who is behind this company) is this:

The US is actively setting up its own trading scheme, the US ETS, to create a more efficient market place for growth, and there is already the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), which trades voluntary credits from 400 members including Ford, DuPont and Motorola, driving global growth further.

The US is not currently setting up its own trading scheme. The Chicago Climate Exchange closed in November 2010. From February 2010, until the decision to close the exchange nine months later, monthly volume was zero.

And here‘s another:

Though Voluntary Emissions Reductions (VERs) are verified by a third party, they do not carry the costs associated with Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs), which are subject to more stringent regulation, pushing up the price. This means that individuals and companies can reduce their emissions in a more efficient and cost effective way.

This is nonsense. The price of CERs yesterday on the European Energy Exchange, was €0.57. There is a wide range of prices of VERs, depending on the type of project and when the emissions reductions were made (the vintage of the carbon credits).

Several people have been in touch with REDD-Monitor, to say that they have been contacted by Wellz Zable with an offer of an “exit strategy” for their carbon credits. The only catch is that they have to invest yet more money in yet more near-worthless carbon credits for the “exit strategy” to go ahead.

Despite the fact that it has only been in existence for just over one year, Wellz Zable has changed its address at least three times. According to the most recent documents at Companies House, the company’s address is 18B Charles Street, Mayfair, London. But the Wellz Zable website gives another address, in Berkeley Square, London:

When the company’s website was registered (on 28 May 2013), Wellz Zable gave its address as 15 Stratton Street, London.

And yet another address appears in the Terms and Conditions:

We assist our clients in acquiring Carbon Credits. Clients are free to retain ownership or dispose of them when they wish. Our principal office is at International House, 1-6 Yarmouth Place, Mayfair, London W1J 7BU.

That’s the same address as Carbon Neutral Investments, a company that has appeared several times on REDD-Monitor in the past. The name Carbon Neutral Investments also appears, bizarrely inserted in a list of definitions in the Terms and Conditions.

Carbon Neutral Investments used to provide two “services”. It sold carbon credits to companies to offset their greenhouse gas emissions and it provided “clearing and settlement services” for carbon traders selling voluntary carbon credits as investments.

In April 2013, Carbon Neutral Investments transferred its offsetting business to CNI (UK) Ltd, which kept the same logo as Carbon Neutral Investments.

Carbon Neutral Investments changed its name to Opus Capital Limited.

Carbon Neutral Investments transferred its clearing and settlement services to a company called Gemmax Solutions. Wellz Zable is listed on Gemmax Solutions’ website as one of the company’s clearing members.

The Financial Conduct Authority has issued a warning about Carbon Neutral Investments and Gemmax Solutions.

There’s another company registered at 1-6 Yarmouth Place. It’s called CNI Clearing Limited. It was founded by Thomas Leo Knifton. It was previously called Advanced Global Trading Clearing Limited. Another company called Advanced Global Trading, in Dubai, also sells carbon credits as investments and has also appeared several times on REDD-Monitor. AGT in Dubai denies any link with UK-based companies of the same name.

Another suggestion of a cosy relationship between Wellz Zable and Carbon Neutral Investments is revealed in two links from the Wellz Zable website to two Formula 1 racing teams. One is to Sauber F1, the other to Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1. Both racing teams have bought carbon credits to offset their emissions from Carbon Neutral Investments. On its website, Sauber F1 explains (in German),

CNI is closely linked with the car industry and motor sports. Especially motor sports is stigmatised as being environmentally damaging. Offsetting CO2 emissions gives the chance to tackle this stigma and at the same time to make a positive contribution to the protection of the environment.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes announced in December 2011 that,

in consultation with Carbon Neutral Investments, an independent carbon offsetting specialist, we set about investigating a number of potential carbon-offsetting schemes – looking to select projects that would prove to be both ideologically relevant to our core business and ethically viable too.
 
After a long, sustained search, we finally found a pair of initiatives that were a perfect fit: two hydro-electric projects in India and Brazil, chosen for their prominence on the current Formula 1 landscape and also for their employment of technical solutions that bring considerable value to local communities.

When I asked Paul Seakens, the director of Carbon Neutral Investments, which projects were selected to supply the carbon credits to make Vodafone Mclaren Mercedes “carbon neutral”, he replied, “The contract we have with Vodafone Maclaren Mercedes precludes us from divulging this information.”

In April 2013, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes announced that, “we have re-confirmed our carbon-neutral status and have formed a partnership with CNI (UK) Limited”.

I’m sure it’s only coincidence that Advanced Global Trading in Dubai has also sold carbon credits to a Formula 1 team: the Lotus F1 Team. And I can’t imagine why Lotus F1 has so far declined to answer REDD-Monitor’s questions about its relationship with AGT.

REDD-Monitor would be interested in hearing from anyone who has bought carbon credits from Wellz Zable or been contacted by the company with an offer of an “exit strategy”, either in the comments below or by email: reddmonitor@gmail.com.


UPDATE – 10 September 2013: Within minutes of this post going live, Wellz Zable’s website was replaced by the message “Server Error (500)”. About an hour later it reappeared, but the links to Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and Sauber F1 had gone. Here are two screenshots of Wellz Zable’s website, both from 6 September 2013 – the first taken at 9:52 and the second at 19:11:


 

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUpon

Leave a Reply

26 Comments

  1. Well Zable have made me 2 offers
    1. to sell my VER’s @ £1.40 ea and CER’s @ 60p ea – no cost to me !
    or if I invest another £7500 in the same products they will sell all for £7.50 by 1st Nov through an existing futures contract.
    Another co Glenleigh Trading have stated they can sell my CER’s for £11.95 ea if I invest another £5000 in the same product.
    I am not dealing with these companies would be interested if anyone knows what the legitimate prices are for VE’s and gCER’s at the present time

  2. I have not dealt with Well Zable but the tactic they use is identical to that used by Pure Carbon (now Clear View) who contacted me after my initial investment of £3500 asking me to take that up to £10000 so that I could then exit – making a ‘tidy profit’ in the deal. I declined. I see that Gemmax are involved in all this; I have it in writing from then that my carbon neutral investments – which they now hold – have no value.

  3. @john arnold (#1) – Thanks for this. I did a post about Glenleigh Trading, last week:

    Glenleigh Trading: Would you buy a used carbon credit from this company?

    The price of VERs varies, as I pointed out in the post above. It depends on the project generating the VERs and when the emissions reductions were (the vintage of the carbon credit – the older the carbon credit the less it is worth). Read this post for more details:

    How much does a carbon credit cost? “There is no such thing as a generic price,” says ClimateCare’s Edward Hanrahan

    Here are some prices from earlier this year, listed by the Carbon Trade Exchange:

    Geothermal power (Indonesia) US$3

    Landfill Gas (USA) US$1

    Coal Mine Methane Utilisation (UK) US$3.15

    Hydropower (China) US$0.63

    Biomass (India) US$2.50

    Fuel Switching (Brazil) US$5.50

    Wind (India) US$1.50

    REDD (Kenya) £7.50

    Biomass (Russia) £4.00

    Wind (Nicaragua) US$2.50

    Forestry (Guatemala) US$9.00

    Liquified Natural Gas (China) US$0.70

    The price for CERs is very easy to find out. Yesterday’s price was €0.57 on the European Energy Exchange.

  4. Have been contacted by several companies who are keen to help me exit my VERs including Wellz Zable. Current one is William Perkins who claims to be able to sell them at £8.01 and I only have to buy the same number of CERs at 0.27p. All very tempting but I am sure it is yet another scam. Are there any genuine companies who can help us exit our VERs?

  5. Hi Chris,

    I am finding your article a little confusing. The title is suggesting a link between ‘Wellz Zable and Carbon Neutral Investments’, yet later down the page you state that Carbon Neutral Investments has changed its name to Opus Capital, and that clearing and settlements are now ran by Gemmex Solutions. I have looked on companies house and Carbon Neutral Investments no longer exists and a trading name.

    Can you please clarify what you mean?

    George

  6. @George Samson (#5) – Sorry it’s confusing. If Carbon Neutral Investments hadn’t changed its name and split into three companies, it wouldn’t be so confusing, would it?

    On 24 April 2013, Carbon Neutral Investments changed its name to Opus Capital Ltd. Paul Seakens is the company director.

    CNI (UK) Ltd. was incorporated on 29 January 2013 as Alfred Henry Shelco 2 Limited and changed its name to CNI (UK) Ltd two days later. Edward Carlton is the director. CNI (UK) uses the same logo as Carbon Neutral Investments and has taken over the selling of carbon credits as offsets to companies (including Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and Sauber F1).

    Gemmax Solutions was incorporated on 20 May 2010 as Gemmax Investments Limited. It changed its name on 11 April 2013. Paul Seakens is the company director.

    By the way, could you please decide what your name is? On 15 August 2013, you were JohnP.

  7. Hi Chris,

    So are Wellz Zable connected with Opus Capital Ltd or Gemmax Solutions, as you said Carbon Neutral Investments no longer exists?

    I don’t know who JohnP is.

    George

  8. I am the sad holder of 17000 vcrs in 9 projects of ” the highest calibre ” purchased from MH Carbon. I have been offered various life saving Exits, all involving further investment. In feb. this year I was offered help by Carbon experts for the meagre sum of £2000. I fell for the daily reassuring contact and the modest outlay…..but no sooner done than no contact, no exit…zilch. Since then I have been approached by other outfits but have not been tempted. Very recently I have been contacted and propositioned by Green Energy Commodities and Wellz Zabel ltd. Green Energy wants me to purchase £5000 of CERs @£3.30 which will” double before” end of year whilst they are confidant of selling part/all of my VCRs. Wellz have a ” contractually watertight” corporate exit on 1st of november which will exit my VCRs along with the £17000 investment I must make. In their generosity, they are willing to sell a third of my holdings if I can only invest £5000. It is only because I am desperately sick of the words carbon credit that I even listen to any of them.All I want to do is get out even at a wacking great loss. I have almost totally lost my faith in human nature. I take it from what has been written on your site that no one has come forward to say a good word on their behalf. !! Can you confirm the advice to not touch them with the proverbial pole ?

  9. @gilbert mason (#8) My advice for people who believe they are the victims of fraud is to contact Action Fraud (via the website – http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud, or by ringing them up – 0300 123 2040).

    You could get in touch with Mike. He’s commented several times on REDD-Monitor and posted his email address here:

    http://www.redd-monitor.org/2013/01/15/mh-carbon-another-boiler-room-scam/#comment-837290

    Andrew Ager, ex-carbon trader at Bache Commodities, gave a presentation to the City of London police, explaining why carbon credits are not a suitable investment. He also has various suggestions about what to do if you’ve been sold carbon credits:

    http://www.andyager.co.uk/#/carbon-credit-fraud/4576518143

  10. Hi Chris,

    Could you please answer the above question?

    Thanks.

  11. @George Samson (#10) – I’ve written what I know and subsequently clarified it.

    You might be interested in the update posted above. Wellz Zable has removed the links to Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and Sauber F1 which, as I’m sure you know, are clients of CNI (UK) Ltd.

    Wellz Zable is one of Gemmax Solutions’ “clearing members”, but Gemmax Solutions states that “Please note that Gemmax has no affiliation with these companies apart from the aforementioned services.”

  12. @gilbert mason (#8): I’m sorry to hear about your experiences. Please DO NOT SEND ANYONE ANY MORE MONEY no matter how desperate you are to recoup your losses – anyone promising you exits is almost certainly lying and is trying to fleece you for more money. Hopefully if people collaborate on sites like this it will assist the investigation into these scammers, but I can’t emphasise enough – report everything to Action Fraud – names, companies, contact details.

    On that front, you say that you were contacted by several companies after your initial dealings with MH Carbon – can I ask if you contacted these companies yourself, or whether they called you out of the blue? The companies you listed are:

    – Carbon Expert
    – Green Energy Commodities
    – Wells Zable

    It would be helpful to build up a picture of which companies are talking to each other.

    Thanks.

  13. Having invested a small amount with MH Carbon I too have had a few contacts offering me an exit strategy. The instigator I suspect was the Voluntary Carbon Register who had my details via MH Carbon.
    In addition to Wellz Zable I have also had; Albert Holmes Ltd; Abacus Advisory and Windward Capital.
    They all offer an exit provided I buy something fist or pay a registration fee. I have turned them all down up to now and reading the comments here I shall continue to do so and write off my carbon credits to experience.

    Tony.

  14. I was approached by Wellz Zable – Contact Wayne Robinson
    Last call from James Parson – head broker.
    They claim to have a futures contract to sell VERs and CERs at £7.50. The deal will take place on 1st Nov and I would be paid 3 days later. I need to put up £50000 to purchase more VERs at £7.50 each as a refundable fee (in that they are included in the sale). Total return £323000. Deduct £50000 paid (£273000), 2% transaction fee and 10% commission on profit and my profit is £66k on my original outlay of £192000. Their explanation is that it is the second deal of a futures contract. The first took place a year ago. The £50000 is to help their cash flow as they have these credits already. They are including 20% on other investor’s credits in the sale in November to allow their brokers to make a profit and hence some commission as, if they do not, their brokers will leave the company. He has invited me to London to meet him to help establish some veracity for the deal.
    He also claims that VERs will only be worth about £1 each next year.
    On 27th August Wayne called again and said VERs are worth £1.30 & CERs 30p. He also said he may be able to reduce my up front payment to £25,000.
    For no reason that I can put my finger on, I feel that I can’t trust him.
    He said he will call me back tonight about 5 – he did not.

  15. I was also approached by Wellz Zable same spiel as above exit date etc and when I refused the hard sell came out, quote of the decade ” You have to trust someone eventually” but they can’t provide paper work to back up there claim so don’t touch them at all. The best bit of advice I have had is don’t buy more Carbon to exit Carbon as you will end up with more of what you already have and no exit or return. They cannot be offset or traded with anything else to exit, any Carbon Credits can be only be sold as they are. I have been caught once and it won’t happen again. Did anybody have any luck with anything else. I did see on Point Carbon that there have been several major arrests by the serious crime squad in London this month and long may it continue. I reported mine to them and they were very prompt with there response as it is clearly a major issue in this market. You can always tell a Liar when they start to stutter over direct questions.

  16. I have been approached by a company called Abacus Advisory claiming to be able to sell my carbon credits. This not by buying more credits but buying Renewable Energy Certificates issued in the USA.
    Has anyone heard of this company or REC’s? They sound like carbon credits under a different name.

    Tony.

  17. Tony,
    Also had a quick call from Abacus Advisory, who were trying to flog £700 of RECs. No other details yet.
    OTOH, I have been dogged by a ‘broker’ called ‘Complete Green Advisory Ltd’, who sent a report (published by Platt’s) about RECs. This makes clear that they are likely to be a poor investment. Complex rules, low liquidity, etc.
    For example, the Texas wind power RECs this pest wanted to sell me are probably worth about one dollar each. He offered them for $11!
    Hope this helps,
    Mark.

  18. I have also been contacted by ‘Complete Green Advisory Ltd’, with the same offer of US$11 per REC. I agree that the actual value seems to be more like US$1, so this doesn’t seem like a spectacularly good investment.

    I’d be grateful for any more details anyone has about RECs, or this company ‘Complete Green Advisory Ltd’.

  19. I have not heard of Complete Green Advisory Ltd. Abacus are trying to sell me REC’s from a company called EACC at $11 each for a project called Caprock Wind Ranch in Texas. EACC are apparently a Singapore based company supposedly regulated by a Singapore regulatory body. It all sounds very dodgy to me, but I will keep Abacus hanging on and wasting their time for as long as I can. I reckon it should be good for another few weeks and hours of the agents time yet. I will keep you posted.

    Tony.

  20. Tony,
    Hmmm…

    So: price $11 each, from EACC Ltd (Singapore), regulated by ACRA (Singapore’s FCA), generated by Caprock Wind Ranch – identical so far!

    Next, the websites of these companies were both registered (and probably designed) by the same company. They both use the same mail forwarding address.

    A lot of similarities, if you ask me.

    Anyway, wasting their time: never a bad idea IMHO.

    Mark.

  21. This is interesting. That address of 2nd Floor, Berkeley Square House, W1J 6BD is identical in all respects to that of CO2 Markets who disappeared just at the point they were due to realise the investment in the Ohio Landfill. That was in March, after a delay of 6 weeks beyond the original date in February 2013. I did get a liquidation letter, with all the details, signed by a director, Laurence Bollers. Ring any bells? I’ve now been contacted by Wellz Zable, offering to get rid of them. I just want them gone, at any price. Any risk in giving them the info? Can’t see any, because they’re not worth a light anyway!

  22. I have been contacted by Wellzzable over the last week asking me to purchase 200 credit at a price of 7.50 and they would sell at £7.57. with the total sale of my holding by Nov.1, the profit is expected to be 39.7%!!. I have also been assured that the money will be in the bank 3 days later. Havng read all the comments so far about the scam,I am not going to part with any more of my hard earned money. I am happy to consider joint class action on these fly by companies who have sold us worthless credits.
    I would advice the same to others who are likely to fall for thesales pitch.

  23. I am currently dealing with Complete Green Advisory. I am adamant that Im not making any more investments to exit these credits ,I have spent £16000 on various projects some being held with CNI now Gemmax. I received a letter confirming my holdings.I did buy a further £600 of EACC,wind rock farm credits as complete green advisory needed to get me ‘on board as an investor’ I did this the beginning of summer and am currently waiting for the broker to strike a deal and to exit me in a block with other people holding credits.
    This is my last effort to exit and Im certainly not buying more to exit.It seems to me that they come up with an affordable figure that makes you think ill try again.

  24. David,

    The same as I was offered. I do not believe a word of it and told them so. Surprisingly they lost interest and I have not been troubled since. I have given no-one anything since my initial dabble and do not intend to. I tell them all now that if they can sell my credits I do not care what their commission rates are, but no-one takes me up on it. I fear you have lost your extra money. Good luck anyway and if you do strike lucky let us know, but don’t hold your breath.

    Tony.

  25. I too have fallen foul of the carbon market, to the tune of £16500. I was called by William Perkins who promised me an exit for all the VCRs that I hold with a deal on the back of a deal in the CER market. In desperation to get rid of these credits I foolishly fell for it. They were so convincing. I had to buy a batch of CERs to balance my portfolio and all would be taken care of. I received a contract and all the paperwork. They called regularly to reassure me all was going well. They even called after the sell date and said my cheque was in the post. They have stolen £1800 from me and now have disappeared. I am just a pensioner living on a state pensioner. They knew how tight money was to me and yet they still ripped me off. I have reported every thing to action fraud but I don’t think they can do anything. Don’t fall for any of these Scams. How these people sleep at night a really don’t know. I dread to think how many others they have played the same dirty trick on.BE WARNED.

  26. All depressing familiar. I’ve been criminally conned by a company called ECO Business Management. Although when the share contract arrived these were sold to me by Abacus, a company unmentioned until being written on the contract. I’d very interested to hear from Anthony David Raybould and Mark A. The worthless shares are in Caprock, and from the time post, these are shares still being sold after I had reported this to both FCA and Criminal Fraud.