It is believed that a 115m management buyout plan which was put together by Chase managing director Evelyn Bourke and head of private client sales Paul Johnston lost out because AWD is prepared to take on some of the liability of the company. It is understood that AWD now has exclusivity on the deal. Bank of Ireland will be responsible for the costs of endowment and precipice bond complaints for a set period. Bank of Ireland put Chase de Vere up for sale in July 2004 as part of a wide-ranging review of its UK division. AWD, formerly Thomson’s, has around 300 advisers in the UK. At the merger of Chase de Vere Investments and MX Financial Solutions, Chase had around 100 registered individuals. Bank of Ireland head of divisional communications Sarah Holland says: “We have received an expression of interest in Chase de Vere and discussions are progressing well with one party in particular. The timing of any announcement is still to be agreed.” AWD was unavailable for comment.