The boards of 1st and The Exchange have been merged in a move that sees 1st founders Rory Curran and Mik Cons depart the firm they founded.
1st is to be completely integrated with The Exchange and will no longer operate as a separate division within parent company Vertex Financial Services although the two brands will be retained.
Curran and Cons, who started 1st in 1994, will stay on as consultants until the end of March. It is understood they have agreed not to pursue further work in financial services for a period after leaving Vertex.
Curran says: “You cannot have an old guard staying on, it is too confusing. We decided we wanted time out to step back and draw breath. It is now in the hands of Vertex to move the business on.”
Vertex bought 1st in 2006 for an initial fee of £25m, with an extra £13.5m to be paid now the earn-out period has ended and performance targets have been met.
The Exchange managing director David Child says: “We are delighted to have concluded the very successful acquisition of 1st and brought together the combined teams of both companies to create a dynamic new force in the industry.”