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£100M Axa deal for Thinc Destini

Chief executive Simon Chamberlain set to pick up more than £5m

Thinc Destini will cost Axa up to £100m, making chief executive Simon Chamberlain a multi-millionaire.

The French insurance giant this week finalised the terms of its acquisition of the adv- iser group, its first deal of this kind and exclusively revealed by Money Marketing in July.

Axa, through the newly formed company Advisory Services Limited, placed a formal offer of £70m for Thinc Des-tini firm based on its performance in 2009 and pledged a further £30m to refinance its debt and provide working capital.

Chamberlain and fellow directors and major shareholders Neil Harkin and Gregg Taylor could pick up more than £5m apiece from the deal.

Chamberlain stresses that although the incentivisation plan runs over three years, Axa views the acquisition as a long-term strategic play.

He says the capital injection has enabled the firm to clear its £20m debts, which will save it around £4m a year in interest and capital repayment and add around £2m a year of additional profit.

Thinc Destini has 200 multi-tied advisers and 500 IFAs.

Chamberlain says: “We have all been tied in until 2009 but I must stress this is not a three- year business plan. We will be in a position to disclose the details of the incentive scheme to our advisers at our December conference.”

ASL managing director John Simmonds says: “We are happy with the way this first step is progressing. The model will continue and we need the management at Thinc Destini to see it through. The existing business will run as a separate ‘independent’ business to that of Axa. Although we are planning the earn-out to 2009, we hope this will continue as a longer-term option.”

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