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Bluefin reports £62m write-down due to business restructure

Bluefin Advisory Services has reported a £62m write-down following the restructure of its private client arm.

Companies House filings made today show in the year ended December 2009 Bluefin Advisory Services saw impairments of £62m related to the restructure. This comes on top of the impairment charges of £40m in 2008 again attributed to a restructure of the private client business.

The Axa-owned group cut its Bluefin Private Clients adviser headcount from 180 to just 50 earlier this year as part of the restructure.

The division, formerly the Thinc Group business, was renamed as Bluefin Wealth Management as part of the changes, which include a shift to a fee-based model ahead of the implementation of the Retail Distribution Review.

Bluefin Advisory Services chief executive John Simmonds (pictured) says the impairments should be the last the company will have to take following the restructure.

He says: “Bluefin Advisory Services is pleased to confirm that it has successfully emerged from the restructuring process a financially stable business. Performance targets for the first nine months of 2010 have been met, and the company fully expects to meet FY10 targets. This write-down – which was fully anticipated – is the final step in the restructure of Bluefin Private Clients.”

A statement from Axa UK – which owns Bluefin – says: “We are happy with the investment we have made in Bluefin Advisory Services, which is proceeding satisfactorily, while significantly restructuring the business to ensure it is best placed to take advantage of the many changes that are happening in the Life industry, especially RDR. We have a clear strategy in place and managing distribution continues to be key to AXA’s future strategy in the UK.”


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There are 13 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. This mob are eventually going down

  2. Bluefin employee 5th October 2010 at 1:04 pm

    I just went to the bathroom and Simmo was flushing large wads of cash down the toilet. Looked like about £100m.

  3. A statement from Axa UK – which owns Bluefin – says: “We are happy with the investment we have made in Bluefin Advisory Services, which is proceeding satisfactorily…”

    £102M in impairements, countless advisers and back office staff ouit of a job. I’m glad someone is happy.

    This is absolutelly outrageous. The management at Bluefin should be ashamed.

  4. Methinks that AXA are going to need even deeper pockets to keep this seriously flawed model going

  5. I’m a little concerned that Axa’s idea of “proceeding satisfactorily” is a £100m+ writeoff. It isn’t mine.

  6. Hmmm, echoes perhaps of InterAlliance and Millfield. There’s only so much rationalising, streamlining, restructuring, reorganising, repositioning and writing down that any business can do before the fundamental question has to be faced ~ Do revenues exceed overheads by a sufficiently healthy margin for the business still to be viable long term? In an age where regulatory costs are going relentlessly up but business is getting ever harder to write profitably, this is quite a tough one.

  7. And there was me wondering whether to buy a wire binder for my client reports …
    £102m – they’re going to have to go some to make a return on that level of investment!!

  8. So when is Axa (or rather it’s shareholders) going to see a return on their investment?

    Didn’t Axa pay somewhere in the region of £100m for Thinc Group in the first place? Now they have a business that has almost a quarter of the previous number of IFA’s (that’s if the can be called ‘Independent’) before writing down another £100m in losses!

    Call this a “Satisfactory” business proposition? GET A GRIP!!!

    The only real winner was Simon Chamberlain & good luck to the guy!

  9. I note Johns comments

    “the impairments should be the last the company will have to take following the restructure”

    I would think so because theirs very little left to restructure. They could restucture the management canteen to serve only salads it seem from the pictures that alot of pies are being ate !

    Shouldn’t be to long now till AXA pull the plug on their satisfactory investment.

  10. You must be joking 5th October 2010 at 6:52 pm


    Buy a binder, they’re great – have a look on eBay!

  11. I am one of Bluefins casualties of the restructuring. If they gave the advisers the respect they deserved and treated then like human beings they would possibly not be in this mess today. When will Axa realise they bought a pig in a poke. Good luck to Simon Chamberlain I bet he doesnt end up in the situation I am in.

  12. John Simmonds, has done it again. The Industry is littered with Companies that have received a sprinkling of his “fairy dust” Wake up AXA before you have nothing left to show for your £1/4 of a billion.

  13. I hope all at AXA invloved in the decision to buy Thinc fully understand that a certain Millionaire has made them look like a bunch of ASSES! as an ex advisor of this group along with others that left after being recruited and promised the earth we found out that all we were there for was to “beef up” the number of advisors,” so that AXA thought they were buying a “going somewhere” company they certainly are “to hell in a handcart” is my best guess.

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