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Bank of Ireland merges Chase de Vere and MX

Bank of Ireland is merging its UK IFA firms – Chase de Vere Investments and MX Financial Solutions – and axing up to 350 staff, blaming the difficult investment climate.

From June, the two firms will be marketed under the Chase de Vere Investments brand but BoI will not say how many of its 280 RIs – 110 at Chase de Vere and 170 at MX – will go as it has just started a 90-day consultation on the £95m rationalisation programme.

Most of the job cuts could be from areas of overlap such as marketing or human resources rather than fee-earners.

BoI expects to retain a sub-brand for MX&#39s mortgage business to avoid confusion with broker Chase de Vere Mortgage Management, which is not part of BoI.

The merged firm will be headed by Chase de Vere managing director Mark Bogard while MX managing director Andy Pratt will take the role as temporary chief operating officer until he leaves the group in June 2004.

MX was set up as a multi-channel national IFA in November 2001 through the merger of consumer finance website Moneyextra, which was acquired by BoI in November 2000 from The Exchange, and Willis National, bought from Abbey in July 2001.

UK development director Martin Palmer says: “We made this decision in view of a major decline in investments, and we do not expect to see a recovery for a good 18 to 20 months.

“We believe that the Chase de Vere brand carries weight in the IFA market and with investment consumers and needed to be retained.”

Holden Meehan marketing director Graham Hooper says: “It makes sense from an economic point of view as they have got two lots of IT, two lots of compliance but it is sad to see it happen as jobs will go.”

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