The sale of national IFA Ascot Lloyd is thought to be imminent, Money Marketing can reveal.
It is understood national advice firm and consolidator Bellpenny has been linked to the deal.
As recently as last week sources described the deal as near completion. It is understood that Ascot Lloyd has been holding sale talks for a number of months.
Both Ascot Lloyd and Bellpenny declined to comment on a potential deal.
A spokesman for Ascot Lloyd says: “It is Ascot Lloyd’s policy not to comment on market speculation and rumour.”
Bellpenny chief executive Nigel Stockton says: “It is lovely all this speculation but we have never, and don’t, comment on market rumour.”
Ascot Lloyd abandoned plans to float on the AIM market in October last year.
Speaking to Money Marketing in January, chief executive Richard Dunbabin attributed the change of heart to worries about inflation, interest rates rising and the economy as a whole against the backdrop of Brexit and the US presidential election.
In August 2016, the business acquired Dorset advice firm Harvard Financial Management, which has £89m in assets under management.
Ahead of that deal, in July, Ascot Lloyd secured a seven-figure funding deal, provided by Clydesdale Bank, and opened a private office.
In January Bellpenny launched an independent advice arm, Bellpenny Independent Advisers Financial Planning. It kick-started the venture with the acquisition of 11-strong adviser firm EFG Independent Financial Advisers, which has £650m in funds under management, for an undisclosed fee.
EFG was Bellpenny’s 33rd deal since its launch in 2012.
At the time, Stockton said the EFG IFA acquisition fitted into the company’s “fewer, larger deals strategy”.
One market source says Bellpenny’s private equity owner Oaktree Capital is putting pressure on the firm to complete a deal that would change the valuation of the company.