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Hamilton Carter: A “specialist investment consultancy” selling carbon credits as investments sets off the alarm bells

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“Hamilton Carter are a specialist investment consultancy, focused in carbon credit trading, emissions offsetting, gold trading, property funds and other alternative investments.” If that statement from the company’s website doesn’t set off alarm bells, here are some aspects of the Hamilton Carter’s operations that will.

Hamilton Carter is one of the companies that was on Carbon Neutral Investments’ “List of Clearing Members” (here’s the list as it was on 22 April 2013). Back in June 2013, Hamilton Carter’s website featured Carbon Neutral Investments’ logo. Alarm bells ringing.

The company was registered in November 2012. The company’s director is a man called John Frederick Revell who describes himself as a marketing consultant. The company’s registered address is One Canada Square, Canary Wharf in London. One Canada Square is a 50 storey office building – the second tallest building in the UK – yet Hamilton Carter’s website doesn’t give a floor number or office suite number. More alarm bells.

The company website includes a “Meet the team” page. We are told that, “At Hamilton Carter, the team comprises of individuals whose skills, experience and knowledge spans the entire spectrum of investments.” Of course, no names of these individuals are given. There’s a photograph, but none of the people in the photograph actually work at Hamilton Carter. It’s a stock photo, available here, under the title “Multi-ethnic business group”. Not illegal, of course, but hardly reassuring. More alarm bells.

On its website Hamilton Carter offers a Free Investment Guide. But to get the guide you have to give your name, email address and phone number. More alarm bells. Unless you want Hamilton Carter’s smooth talking salesmen to waste your time, I would advise not giving them any of this information.

Hamilton Carter contacts people who have been scammed into buying carbon credits as investments and offers them an exit strategy. You just need to buy a small block of CERs to open a trading account with them. It’s a recovery room, in other words. More alarm bells.

Should you be unfortunate enough to be contacted by Hamilton Carter, you’re likely to hear about the £16 carbon floor price that was introduced in the UK in April 2013. Here’s the sort of “scumbag correspondence” you might get from Hamilton Carter:

From: Adam White adamwhite@hamiltoncarter.com
Sent: 04 November 2013
To: XXXX
Subject: Hamilton Carter
 
Dear XXXX
 
I would like to thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. As discussed I have attached a link below to an article in relation to the £16 Carbon floor price that came in a few months ago and how it affects UK companies.
 
I have also attached the EU document we spoke about, and have taken the liberty of highlighting the specific areas for you to read through.
 
Please take a few moments to go through the information, I look forward to speaking with you tomorrow as planned.
 
Please see the link below:
 
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-30/drax-first-half-earnings-fall-22-after-u-k-starts-carbon-tax.html
 
Kind regards
 
Adam White
 
Head of Exit Strategies
 
Tel- 0203 657 6517
 
Website- http://www.hamiltoncarter.com

The £16 carbon floor price is a tax on companies that burn fossil fuels. It’s an attempt by the UK Government to persuade companies to invest in low-carbon technology. The Bloomberg article that Hamilton Carter links to even includes the words “carbon tax” in the headline. The words “carbon credit” are not mentioned in the article for the simple reason that the UK’s carbon floor price has no impact on, or relation to, the cost of EU Allowances, UN CERs or any other carbon credits.

Even if the UK’s carbon floor price could change the price of carbon credits, it would not change the price of, say, HFC-23 credits from China dated 2010. Near-worthless carbon credits remain near-worthless no matter what happens to the rest of the carbon market.

Of course, in the small print, Hamilton Carter warns you about the risks involved (if you click on the words “Risk Warning”, in grey on a slightly darker grey background at the bottom of the website):

Any prices of carbon credits shown are indicative only and are based on current exchange rates. Carbon Credit prices can go down as well as up. It may be difficult to obtain true market process for VERs as many are transacted “over the counter” and as such values may vary from reseller to reseller.
 
Currently VERs are illiquid in comparison to the compliance EUA credit market. There may be a big difference between the buying and selling price of carbon credits. Trading in carbon credits involves risk. You may get back less than your total outlay and in extreme cases make no recovery. Any growth shown or suggested is a projection only and cannot be guaranteed.

But I bet they don’t say any of that over the phone when they are persuading you to invest in near-worthless carbon credits (or persuading you to hand over yet more money on the promise that they can sell your near-worthless carbon credits at some point in the future).
 


If you have been sold carbon credits as investments, please read this post: “What to do if you’ve been scammed into buying carbon credits as an investment.”
 

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26 Comments

  1. This company seems to have the exact same spiel that Murdoch & Chase offered me the other day. They were going to charge me a discounted price of £2,300 for a “Corporate re-diversion into CERs”. This deposit was refundable on the sale of my credits at £17.69 in February!
    Exactly as Hamilton Carter they quoted the £16 floor price.
    I offered them 50% of the exit fees but, surprise, surprise, they didn’t want to know.
    In addition the trader that ‘phoned me sounded exactly like the trader, Bradley Baker, from the now defunct Tullett Brown!

  2. And registered at the same address is the ‘clone” scamming outfit calling themselves SKJ Capital Partners. Wow, what a coincidence. This has to be illegal so why are they allowed to continue doing this, or are they one of the companies closed down this week?

  3. mate go and get a job that pays you. your such a walley chris lang, is that even your REAL name?

  4. They are based and calling from

    225 Marsh Wall
    Canary Wharf
    London E14

  5. Hl! Chris
    You may remember our correspondence the latter part of last year following the scam I was caught up in and when you were of assistance with your advise. I have been recently been contacted by a company called Carter & Campbell who were going to make me money by converting the useless VER’s that I was sold last year to CER’s which will be worth over £11 per unit, they would charge 10% of the promised value of CER’s for this service, of course the payment was to be made up front.

    I do not know if you are aware of this company, I am assuming that this is more fraudulent activity in the carbon credit

  6. @Tom Arnott (#5) – Here’s the evidence that Carter & Campbell Asset Management Ltd is running a recovery room scam:

    1. They cold called you. No reputable company would do this.

    2. The company was registered less than three months ago. I couldn’t find a company website, and I couldn’t find any evidence that the director of the company has any record of carbon trading.

    3. While we don’t know how much your VERs are worth, we do know exactly what CERs are selling for: €0.35 per tonne of carbon dioxide. When Carter & Campbell claim that they are worth 38 times this figure, they are lying.

    4. Carter & Campbell are asking for an advance fee.

  7. Hi chris
    http://www.carterandcampbell.com is the website which says they were registered in 2008 (copyright 2008-2014)
    I am finding it difficult to discredit their offer but at the same time more difficult to part with any monies !!. I have a settlement contract to sign and signed letters etc so if I can get some proof / help I have the ammunition to take this further

  8. @john arnold (#7) – The fact that someone typed in the number 2008 into the website is completely meaningless. They could have typed in 1942, or any other number. The website was only registered on 9 January 2014 – it did not exist before this date. The company itself was only registered at Companies House on 30 October 2013.

    The photograph of “Jonathan Bentley” on the company website is actually a photograph of someone called Barry Sexton, the Director and Chief Financial Officer of Northwestern University in Qatar.

    Carter & Campbell cold call people (which no legitimate financial firm would do) and they are asking for an advance fee. I would suggest reporting them to Action Fraud – via their website, or by phone 0300 123 2040.

  9. This is a different subject, fine wines. I have just been contacted by a company called Commodex Global Ltd 228 Bishopsgate London EC2M 4 QP which I suspect is a virtual office. They have offered to purchase my wine but I have to enter a 28 day contract to exchange my wine for diamonds which is suspicious in itself. As far as I can see the company was only registered on 11/01/14. Has anyone heard of them or had dealings with them.

  10. @Alan McCollum (#10) – I’m afraid it’s a scam. They cold called you – no legitimate company would do that. Swapping one dodgy deal (wine) for another (diamonds) isn’t going to help you. The company’s website tells you nothing about who is behind the company. The company was registered on 11 February 2014. The website was registered in November 2013. Report them to Action Fraud.

  11. Chris
    With regards to ‘Cold Calling’. Carter and Campbell have said they did not cold call but were advised by the Registry that I owned a certain number and would be interested in an exit strategy. If I do not go ahead with their offer they will inform the registry

  12. Any one know the Tel No of Hamilton Carter in London, Canary 225 Marsh Wall, Canary Wharf?

    Thier current Tel No is “unavailable” since Jan when I was expecting to receive the sale on my CERs. I have heard nothing to date and expect they have disappeared. any contact details will be appreciated as I intend to visit them unannounced!

    Thank you

  13. Dear Chris

    I wonder if you could have a look at this company- GCT Global. Lee Randall is the CEO. They appeared very genuine initially but now I have major doubts. When they first contacted me they said they had got my details from a leaflet I’d filled in. They also convinced me to purchase carbon credits-VCS RECS: reneweable energy certificates as well as cemetry plots and hotel rooms.

    I have become suspicious after they have yet to refund me my deposit on a hotel room deal that never materialised. Would really appreciate your thoughts.

  14. Cold called today by Commodex Global investments various including by email contact follow up fancy diamonds which always gives me the shivers…fed up with cold callers but they were new to me and checked them up
    Serviced offices 288 Bishopsgate and director one secretary one registered less than a month no company accounts surprise surprise!
    Glad to see mention of them in your columns.
    Last pest cold caller I checked was virtual offices Canary Wharf and caller said to me (a long ago born and bred City of London person) his office was in Moorgate, he was a Scotsman who seemed to think Moorgate was in the Strand. why do I answer these calls? Like to investigate them and think of others maybe losing their money …

  15. I too was ‘cold called’ by Commodex Global Ltd and offered some sort of commodity deal for my fine wine collection. Like others I discovered that Commodex at 228 Bishops Gate had only just registered (less than two weeks prior to their calling me in February) despite claims to be a well-established company. I was invited to visit them (to put my mind at rest)and was tempted to do so but I’m aware they would likely be too slick for me to see through.

  16. Have been cold called recently by two firms offering to sell my carbon credits. Manor Trade Ltd is obviously a recovery room scam. The other Fredericks 2001 Ltd of Highgate Business Centre, 33 Greenwood Place, London, NW5 1LB seems to share offices with a Chartered Accountants called Fredericks. I am guessing this is also a scam as they are asking for money up front to be paid into an in house solicitors Escrow account. Anybody else had dealings with this lot? Francis

  17. Hi Francis, HAMILTON CARTER, stay clear of them, they took me for 3500 pounds,to sell my carbon credits I had bought in previous years. They promised that they would sell my VER carbon credits at a profit as long as I invested in some of their CERs. The short story is that after several delays, non return of emails and telephone calls, they dissapeared with my money.
    My contact was with Adam White and they operated out of an office block in London. I have tried several times to contact them with no success. If you do have their contact details I would appreciate if you could forward them on to me as I would like to have a few words.
    From my experience I would only like to meet them again across the court room.
    Please have nothing to do with them.
    Yours David Hotson 02380446953. davidhotson@aol.com

  18. Please may I ask Alan McCollum if you ever entered into a contract, got paid, or had your contract settled satisfactorily? I am investigating them as an investment, but am wary.

  19. Hamilton Carter? Does any one have contact details for Adam White. He may have resurfaced by Woking for another company by now. I am still on the trail for him and the company Hamilton Carter who have robbed me of my money / pension and caused me serious health issues and marital breakdown. Suffice to say contact details or hot leads will lead me to start my legal retribution for destroying my life..

  20. Has anyone had any dealings with Oakmount Management Partners in regard to sale of carbon credits? I’ve had a call from a Jonathan Dinnings from that company offering to sell my 4000 credits for £51,000 in a pending Carbon Credit Sale (on 26th June), subject to an up-front payment of £5160.

  21. @Scammed (#21) – This is an advance fee scam. “Jonathan Dinnings” cold called you. How did he know about your carbon credits? The answer to that question, I’m afraid, is that having been scammed into buying carbon credits you are now on a suckers list. I would recommend contacting Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040.

  22. @Scammed (#21) P.S. There’s an interesting discussion about Oakmount and Partners here. I particularly like the advice “Deploy bargepole!” This may not be the same company that contacted you – the director, Glenn King, has the following note on his LinkedIn page:

    Please note that there have been recent fraudulent attempts and malicious statements by people or organisations trying to mimic and ghost our group of companies and director/s.

    If you have been contacted by anyone or any company proclaiming to be us then do please notify us immediately on the above details where we will take immediate legal and professional recourse.

  23. Contacted today by another crowd, Vanguard, offering to sell my “credits” for 13.30 pounds, with just the up front Corporate Rediversion fee of 10% upfront( refundable of course!)
    They also give the address of 1Canada Square, Canary Wharf as many previous ones do. Beware!