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AWD casts ties aside after 20m Chase de Vere buy

AWD has emphasised its commitment to remain independent following its acquisition of Chase de Vere from Bank of Ireland.

AWD chief executive Douglas Gardner has pinned the firm’s colours to the mast of independence after paying 20.67m for Chase de Vere, as first revealed in Money Marketing in January.

Now one of the biggest IFAs in the UK’s high-net-worth advisory market, AWD says it will not consider multi-tie because it imposes a restricted and inefficient business model.

Gardner says Chase de Vere’s pure IFA business model mirrors AWD’s objective of continuing to offer independent advice. No decision has been made over whether the Chase de Vere name will be retained.

AWD, part of German advisory giant AWD Holdings, already had 300 advisers and acquires a further 160 RIs through the deal as well as 28,000 private clients and 1,000 corporate clients. Chase de Vere’s client assets under management totalled 2.41bn in 2004.

Reminiscent of Bradford & Bingley’s sale of Charcol in December last year, Bank of Ireland has sold its subsidiary for significantly less than the 110m it paid for it in August 2000. Chase de Vere had been up for sale for eight months before the deal went ahead.

Bank of Ireland UK Financial Services says it wants to focus on its core operations of business banking, consumer banking and mortgages using both the Bank of Ireland and Bristol & West brands.

The sale includes Money Extra Mortgages, the online mortgage advice service. The entire sale is subject to regulatory approval which should be complete by the end of March.

Gardner says: “We are not keen on multi-tie, single-tie or restricted panels. We have the ability to offer our clients the best possible service and the ability to negotiate with the supplier. Long-term independence is our true business model. We think that multi-tie will not survive in the near future.”

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