Discount broker Chelsea Financial Services is likely to be among the next acquisition targets for fast-growing fund distributor The Money Portal once it secures a further tranche of funding.
TMP, which last year acquired Willis Owen, HCF, the Isa and With-Profits Bond Shops and Bates Investment Services, has a wish-list of nine firms. The list is believed to feature Chelsea Financial Services, the UK's oldest discount broker.
Chelsea Financial Services has confirmed to Money Marketing that it received a preliminary approach from TMP late last year but the group has experienced delays with financial backers and is only expected to secure funding to continue its buying spree in the coming weeks.
TMP, which after failed acquisition negotiations recruited half of David Aaron Partnership's advisers in December to spearhead the launch of Bates' first regional office in Milton Keynes, says it will not comment until the funding is in place.
CFS, with 70,000 active clients and a mailing list of 130,000, would be a major addition and would fit with its strategy of buying well known discount brokers alongside efforts to build up its advisory arm.
Chelsea had a successful end of tax year, with Isa sales rocketing by 300 per cent in March from the same time last year.
CFS managing director Darius McDermott says: “We have had contact with TMP but there have been no conversations recently.”
TMP head of communications Kerry Nelson says: “All our discussions will move on to the next phase but we are waiting for funding. There are nine firms on the immediate hit list but at this point we cannot confirm or deny anything.”