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Lord Sugar dismisses mentoring claims as ‘fantasy’

Lord Sugar seen in a video message

Lord Alan Sugar has dismissed claims that he mentored a business coach who has been offering advice to audiences around the country.

Samuel Leeds, a property investor and motivational speaker offers advice and crash courses to budding entrepreneurs on how to be successful in the property market.

Millionaire Scottish property trader Shaf Rasul told Daily Business he was in attendance at one of Mr Leeds’ events in Edinburgh, saying he wanted to hear what advice he had to offer.

“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” said Mr Rasul. “I contacted Lord Sugar’s office, and his communications team denied that Lord Sugar had mentored him or endorsed his business.”

Shaf Rasul

Shaf Rasul: ‘I couldn’t believe what I was hearing’ (pic: Terry Murden)

In a video clip sent to Mr Rasul, Lord Sugar says: “I don’t know Samuel Leeds. I met him briefly at a conference a few years ago and had a photo taken with him.

“Any claims that I’ve given him business advice and mentored him are pure fantasy and completely untrue.

“It upsets me that he misleads people into pretending to be an associate of mine. Especially after I instructed my lawyers to have him remove anything pertaining to this nonsense from his social media and website”.

Mr Leeds’ replied that he had paid for advice from Lord Sugar and “found it extremely useful”.

He said: “I have long admired Lord Alan Sugar and have often wanted to benefit from his advice. For this reason, I paid for a one-hour ‘private round table’ session with Lord Sugar at the Business Empires event on November 10, 2017 at Heathrow Airport’s Hilton Hotel.

“This was followed by a photo opportunity with Lord Sugar. The total cost was £4,800. It was stated as fact in Shaf Rasul’s video that this was a ‘very brief meet and greet.’

“However, in the emails I received from Charlotte Nall in connection with the event it was made clear that there would be an opportunity for me to ask questions relevant to my business.  

“I have… two emails from her which confirm that this was in fact a ‘private round table event ‘ at which I would be able to seek personal advice about my business.”

Mr Leeds’ produced a receipt for £4,800 which he paid “to get this kind of insight from Lord Sugar.”

He added: “During the session with a handful of other businesses, each participant was allowed to ask questions relevant to their business. I outlined my business plan and he said it made sense which gave me a lot of confidence.

“He also advised me to get into commercial deals as residential property was very hard to scale. This was why I turned many of my properties into commercial leases and sought bigger development deals. I found Lord Sugar’s advice about my business to be extremely useful. 

“When I referred to having paid Lord Sugar for mentoring, this is the event I was referring to. Only a small number of attendees at the event were given personal advice because of the extra amount they paid for that privilege. 

“I would like to stress that as a company we have helped many people to become successful property investors. Over the past two years, we have produced regular Winners on a Wednesday video interviews with more than 70 of our successful students. These can all be viewed online.”

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