Accountancy firm Baker Tilly may return to the IFA sector through the acquisition of RSM Tenon but advisers doubt the firm much appetite for it.
Baker Tilly, which sold its financial services arm to Towry in 2007, announced last week that it had begun due diligence on RSM Tenon and has until 22 August to bid for the accountancy and advice firm.
RSM Tenon had £80m of debt in December, according it its last accounts. Any deal could be “significantly below” its share price, which halved after the announcement, from 3.49p to 1.71p.
In 2011 RSM Tenon was involved in a dispute with its PI insurers over a £4.3m FSA settlement for missold Lehman-backed structured products and unsuitable pension switching advice.
FortyTwo Wealth Management owner Alan Dick says: “I struggle to see why Baker Tilly would be interested in the IFA arm. There are very few accountancy firms where an integrated financial advice practice has worked.”
Murphy Financial associate Adrian Murphy says: “I can understand the accountancy business is attractive with economies of scale but the potential advice liabilities may be hard to swallow and it is not Baker Tilly’s core business.”