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Discount brokers are target in new Money Portal spree

Discount brokers Bestinvest and Garrison Investment Analysis are expected to be acquisition targets for retail fund distributor The Money Portal once its latest round of funding comes through.

The brokers, both major players, are understood to be among nine firms that TMP plans to approach as soon as it secures its next – and biggest – tranche of financing. TMP is already believed to be targeting Chelsea Financial Services, which admits to a preliminary approach by the group late last year.

If TMP, which owns Willis Owen, HCF, the Isa and With-Profits Bond Shops and Bates Investment Services, is successful in acquiring the three businesses it will boast one of the UK&#39s biggest client bases. CFS and Garrison have more than 120,000 clients in total while Bestinvest holds more than £1.5bn of assets for its investors.

Garrison managing director John Duerden says: “I have not heard anything but if anybody offers you anything you always see it as a positive.”

Bestinvest director Dominic Cummings says: “While our profitability makes us an attractive acquisition target, we have no financial need for outside investment and are most definitely not up for sale.”

TMP head of communications Kerry Nelson says: “I cannot confirm the companies that we are interested in right now.”

Origen chief executive Gareth Marr says the Aegon IFA dinners and a drunken night in Paris sparked the idea among the company&#39s five IFA MDs for a merger

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