Beware! Hither Mann and her Fortune Academy are neither hither nor thither

Far from being the experienced trader that she misdescribes herself as in marketing material, TV interviews and social media posts, Hither Mann’s background is not in trading at all.

There are times at which my own professional responsibility toward the electronic trading industry and the esteemed professionals that I have watched make tremendous and continual efforts to strive for excellence, innovate new methods of operating, devise complex and clever trading systems and work closely with all infrastructural, hosting, regulatory and execution requirements and quite simply run their operations in a way that has brought the institutional trading world to the fingertips of every individual, is far too strong to ignore those whose toxic behavior seeks to pollute our combined hard work and effort.

We are, and should be, proud of our efforts as a global technology-led industry sector, whose combination of responsibility, entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to continual development has been at the very leading edge of the evolution of the financial services sector, right down from the interbank dealers to the institutional liquidity providers, the market integration companies that understand the full topography of a trading system and can move development along in very short lead times.

Even after 29 years, I stand intrigued by the leadership and quality that drives our global business sector into the future, and upon which it is based.

For this reason, when a nefarious individual attempts to wreak havoc for us and create a dangerous environment which could place the entire business under draconian restrictions, I have to speak out, otherwise I am not supporting the industry the way I should, which is fully, and in all areas.

Over the past year, I have seen the name Hither Mann being bandied about, and whilst that appears to be a rather unusual nomenclature, I would have ordinarily disregarded it as irrelevant, however the reference to this particular individual was brought to my attention by owners of relatively good quality retail brokerages in equally respectable regions of the world.

Many brokers have been approached with this email. Translation: “Lets share client losses”

More often than not, when a blatantly obvious fraudster appears, hawking ‘cure all trading software’ and ‘courses to make you rich’ whilst using very downmarket terminology and imagery, we all know to write them off as what they are – irrelevant bandwagonists who are here today, gone tomorrow, exploiting a loophole that these ironically self-titled ‘education’ providers wrongly believe that they are exempt from regulation.

We have all seen the boasts by nobodies selling courses, software and then trading on a demo account, whilst boasting to a novice audience that has paid a fortune for false software that does nothing, to be told that they are losers and the ‘mentor’ is a winner, that the snake oil salesman himself has been a chief dealer at Citigroup (or Goldman, or JP Morgan… make up any name here) when actually they have never been near any form of career whatsoever.

Hither Mann has managed to commit her efforts to what I would consider to be a form of guerrilla marketing, using tasteless imagery of her standing by performance cars, helicopters, and other banal lifestyle trappings that successful traders NEVER possess or show off with, whilst making absurd claims about her ability to impart knowledge into everyone’s mind on how to get rich quickly and live her dream.

Well, the only one thing she is being truthful about in her bizarre array of social media flannel is that by purchasing her software and courses, you will likely end up in the same financial and lifestyle situation as her – that being flat broke with absolutely no understanding of the trading world.

So yes, if that is the parameter, you can become her equal by following her.

I wouldn’t recommend it, though, and I would even less recommend that any broker takes her on as an introducer or ‘poster boy’ marketing tool – her antics will destroy your business and potentially get you in trouble with the regulatory authorities.

In fact, you should be distancing yourselves from her as far as possible. This is the type of thing that causes global regulators to hone in on our entire industry and penalize every brokerage, restrict advertising and give us all a bad reputation that we do not deserve, as she is peripheral and nothing to do with the electronic trading business.

Who is she?

Far from being the experienced trader that she misdescribes herself as in marketing material, TV interviews and social media posts, Hither Mann’s background is not in trading at all, and she has never been a trader, either on a proprietary basis or employed by a Tier 1 bank, institution, non-bank market maker or portfolio management company.

Research conducted by FinanceFeeds deduces that Ms Mann was actually employed for a short time by Vision Express, which is a downmarket British national chain of spectacle and sunglasses stores, before quitting to become a director of several very non-transparent limited companies, all of which she has removed herself from the list of directors, except for one which is in liquidation.

Utter drivel. Come on, FCA, where are you when we need you?

Ms Mann’s real name is Hirthaeprit Kaur Mann, and she grew up in a very working class neighborhood in Coventry, England, called Foleshill which is where she is still registered along with her businesses.

I remember Foleshill during the 1990s when many of my contemporaries were studying Computer Science at Midlands universities such as Birmingham, Nottingham and Warwick, and Foleshill was notorious for slum landlords who had cheaply purchased almost uninhabitable properties and rented them to students. In one example, a student that I knew well at the time ended up in hospital from carbon monoxide poisoning due to the heating system. I also witnessed the squalor that these self-professed “property investors” rented out.

Since then, new laws have put them out of business, and rightly so. But this did not deter Ms Mann from attempting to buy property.

One of the claims she makes when ‘training’ FX novices is that she had a successful property portfolio, and still maintains it. This is absolutely not true at all.

Last year, a gentleman by the name of James Bush, who had previous dealings with Ms Mann, stated that it is correct that she worked for Vision Express and was never a trader, and then she “got herself involved in property, sold the bulk of it and made very little. Then set up a property buying business stealing properties off vulnerable people. I worked for the estate agents that managed her portfolio in Coventry. They said she was ruthless and unnecessarily vicious.”

Mr Bush continued “She is a complete megalomaniac, never worked in finance, and is a self thought con artist. Hirthaeprit Kaur Mann from King Georges Avenue, Foleshill, Coventry. Her parents are devastated and have disowned her because of how much of a confidence trickster she is. She’s addicted to cosmetic and was hidious on the outside and inside. Credit due to the breasts, lips eye lift, lipo and arse implants have helped with the her being physically desirable. But there is simply no substance, she has the script but no substance.”

A former acquaintance called Sunny published over a year ago that he “knew of her when she was struggling during the recession. She basically financed all her property through 110% LTV (Loan to Value) mortgages so was over exposed when the market crashed. She lost everything. She had a gift of attracting wealthy vulnerable men and had an insatiable greed for money. So it comes to no surprise that her “psychological” condition has got worse. It seems she is a psychopath who has no emotions for the dreams and hopes of the vulnerable people she exploits.”

One of the slogans used offline at retail events about her company, which operates under the brand name Fortune Academy, is equally demeaning. “The only way is Forex” can be seen by doing searches on Google Images. This is a play on words of the extremely poor taste and low quality British TV series “The Only Way Is Essex” which features uneducated, foul mouthed, botox-obsessed gum chewers shouting at each other.

Thus, by association, it is clear that the target audience is those with lottery winner aspirations, Croydon facelifts and a place on the council house waiting list.

When investigating this imagery further, some important checks and balances need to be taken into account.

I would urge everyone to pay specific attention to the way that Ms Mann and her “Fortune Academy” markets itself, which is all via Photoshop imagery, rented cars, and social media blasts.

Those who boast about their success and then charge others to learn from them are almost always nefarious. Ms Mann’s imagery features her in high performance cars, usually with the license plate blurred out in the photographs. There is literally no reason to blur a license plate out, even for security reasons.

Look at a British television show, and you will see all license plates on all cars, even ones own personally, displayed. Usually, when people blur out license plates, it is to stop any due diligence being done, because in the UK you can check who owns a vehicle. This hints to the possibility that the cars have been rented or borrowed for free for the purposes of creating an image.

Foleshill Road, Coventry. One of the worst streets in Britain.

The same applies to photographs at private airstrips next to helicopters. The Civil Aviation Authority forbids any non-operational staff from standing underneath the rotors of a helicopter, even TV shows that use helicopters have to have prior permission and supervision from operational staff.

Have the photographs by the helicopter been crafted from within a Coventry living room? Very likely.

I have known over my career the senior executive teams of major bank trading desks, Bloomberg executives, R&D Directors at HSBC, Barclays, PwC and Accenture, Siemens, Steria, and Capita IT when they had bank contracts – NONE of them flew helicopters or photographed themselves in sports cars, despite their 7 figure incomes and longstanding career success.

Even the leaders of our industry – esteemed people like Ian Gorham, former CEO at Hargreaves Lansdown, the UK’s largest retail financial services and trading firm with its own Vantage proprietary system and a £6 billion market cap drove a Hyundai Sonata, leased by the company.

Warren Buffet, probably the world’s most notable trader – and certainly one who should be taken note of instead of this caricature from Coventry, drives a 1991 Lincoln Town Car worth at the most $300. “Cars depreciate and are a waste of money” he rightly says.

Unfortunately, some brokers have believed what Ms Mann has to say, even to the point of her addressing them that she goes to Cyprus, among other regions, to train hedge funds and offshore managers how to trade.

Yes, and I’m a hobgoblin.

Ah, I hear you say. There are no negative reviews!

Here’s why.

One thing Ms Mann does understand clearly is how to use the internet’s smokescreen to block off any negativity and mask the realities of her commercial activities.

On her Fortune Academy website the Privacy Policy lists the company “Divinita Investments Ltd” as the company behind the service. Hither was previously a director of the company but on 23rd of October 2017 Companies House received notice she was no longer a director. Instead someone going by the name of Mr Ranjit Mann was the director. Given the same surname it’s a high probability they are related. Hither is still very much the face of the business though.

  • DIVINITA INVESTMENTS LIMITED
  • FORTUNE HOUSE PUBLICATIONS LIMITED
  • AWJ INVESTMENTS LIMITED
  • DUCTURA INVESTMENTS LIMITED
  • KASTRUM LIMITED
  • VINCO INVESTMENTS LTD (the company that was liquidated)

Ms Mann resigned as a director from all of them except Kastrum Limited, however that company appears to be different because the other directors of Kastrum aren’t linked to any of the other companies. She resigned as a director of the all the other companies on the same day, 23rd of October 2017.

All the accounts submitted to Companies House by all of those different companies have been checked, and none of them list any figure of the £200million that she claims in her marketing material that she traded to success.

According to one report last year which was published by the liquidator, “the director (Ms Mann) was found to have paid herself and her husband the sum of £19,000 in part-settlement of their outstanding loans in the month prior to liquidation. Premier Legal & Insolvency was instructed to act on behalf of the Liquidator in this matter. A settlement of £4,000 was agreed in this regard taking into account the director’s financial circumstances and the likely cost of legal proceedings.”

Visit a dealer, have your photo taken and blur the license plate. Image and reality are two different things

That, whichever way you look at it, is fraud.

In a nutshell she paid herself money she shouldn’t have, knowing the company was about to be liquidated. When a company director does this sort of act, the liquidator has to recover the cash and will then decide how assets within the company are distributed. As it states, the “director’s financial circumstances” meant recovering the cash wasn’t possible and taking legal action against her wouldn’t have been worthwhile due to the cost.

Why was the company liquidated in the first place? Because it owed £28,801 to HMRC and couldn’t pay it. If you wish to view all the documents and read everything yourself here.

So, back to my point about why this is relevant to there being no trace of this or any negative reviews online.

Well, Ms Mann’s posts and articles comments are blocked, and any dissenter is immediately blocked from contact.

Fortunately, this matter managed to get into the public domain, and was the subject of a QUORA question, in which the author of the question had begun to suspect that something was awry.

In the Quora page, a former attendee to one of the Fortune Academy events gave some information, which was then replied to by Ms Mann who attacked the person posing the question.

In 2017, an article in Real Business was published, with her boasting of her successes, which was then immediately debunked by tweeters who were subsequently blocked when asked for proof of track record.

In the first paragraph she referred to the former client of hers as a ‘keyboard warrior’. She continued to state that the price of the investment is also inaccurate so thank you for sharing the random information“. There is different information out there from people, but one thing is clear it’s all in the thousands of pounds. It is in the thousands of pounds + VAT.

More blurred license plates. On other images, there is a UK front license plate which is mildly obscured beginning MX17 M being for Manchester. On others, a similar P1 is shown with its license plate removed entirely.

However, as we saw from the liquidation she previously couldn’t afford to pay the £28,000 VAT she owed the British Government’s Customs and Excise department.

In her third paragraph she says “As for the claim to no company information on the website, perhaps you failed to read the privacy policy that is on the website.” At the time of the guy posting the Quora post he was correct, there was no company information.

The person who put this into the public eye didn’t take a screenshot at the time but thankfully, the Wayback Machine allows that to be proven as well, by following this link.

FCA – where are you?

Ordinarily, I have tremendous respect for the FCA, as I do for other bona fide regulators in America, Australia, Singapore and other well recognized financial markets economies, however the FCA are really allowing this type of “get rich quick” fakery to go unchecked.

Why it galls me is that brokers are being taken in by it, as are retail clients, and when it comes down to it, we will all be told that there have been retail FX scams and we will all be made to carry the burden whilst she and her ilk run away with the cash.

To be able to offer any advice, be it training or software, FCA regulation is required. I know of some firms who have told me that Ms Mann is FCA regulated and “not like the others” . She is not FCA regulated, and is very much like the others – those being the Aussie Lifestyle Trader, Andy Shearman, Greg Secker to name a few.

The only authority that appears to be on the ball here is the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

This is ASA’s ruling on Fortune Academy. The ASA was concerned by Fortune Academy’s lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). Why the FCA is so lethargic by comparison is hard to comprehend.

According to British researcher James Kelly, Fortune Academy, her educational business has been booming.

Mr Kelly asserts that to attract new customers, she holds monthly seminars throughout London and the UK. These are mainly free to attend but charges extra if you want to sit in the front row. The sole purpose of these workshops is up-sell people to high-priced courses. Throughout the seminar, Hither will use several sales techniques without the crowd noticing. One prime example is creating a false sense of urgency to make people take action. If you don’t sign up now, you could miss out on a great deal. She also likes to tells stories and sell this dream of achieving financial freedom The prices range from £3000 to £5000 per course. All of these courses have fancy sounding names but will fail to meet your expectations.

Why are they free? Is she taking IB commission from a b-book broker and splitting the losses whilst charging for her completely vacuous course? That is often a tactic employed by these ‘get rich quick’ educators with no credentials of their own.

If you are a broker who is engaging in IB business of this type – be very careful, this is a regulatory and legal taboo.

We all can see by viewing some of the video material that this lady knows absolutely nothing about FX trading, and her claims of success cannot be substantiated, however, novices would never know the difference, hence she gets them hooked by selling a dream – which is exactly what it is – a rental car based, Photoshop enhanced dream.

It is therefore our duty, and the duty of the regulators, to put a stop to it and to encourage traders to look toward the experienced staff at good quality brokerages for support when learning to trade. This way, not only will it stop traders foaming at the mouth thinking they will be rich in five minutes and be able to live the same crass lifestyle that Ms Mann falsely portrays of herself, but will also be more pragmatic, sensible and cost effective.

Why? Because it will be support and help from those who have the experience – the FX industry itself.

I reached out to Ms Mann this morning for a comment on her track record, background and experience, explaining that I wished to make these points clear publicly. No response was proffered. I have since been blocked from viewing her profile on LinkedIn.

Mind how you go.

 

 

 

 

 

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