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Former Towergate chief Ian Darby returns as £8.6m deal completes

Former Towergate Financial chief executive Ian Darby is returning to the firm as executive chairman following the firm’s acquisition by Palatine Private Equity.

The deal, which was announced earlier this month and completed today, sees PPE acquire broker John Charcol and TF Financial Planning from Towergate for £8.6m. 

TF Financial will be rebranded in the coming weeks, although Charcol will retain its name. Further, PPE will invest £5.4m into the newly acquired firms and has promised to bolster their IT and back-office systems.

Darby, who left Towergate in 2011, returns to the helm of Towergate Financial, while former GMAC-RFC chief executive Simon Knight has been appointed the new head of John Charcol.

Warren Page has led both Charcol and the financial planning firm since 2012 and will continue to be chief executive of the latter. Knight has been brought in as chief executive of Charcol, while Walter Avrili will remain as its managing director.

Knight started out at Charcol and has been managing director of lender Private Label and chief executive of GMAC-RFC UK in his career. For the past 18 months he has been managing director of Hearthstone Investments plc.

Darby says: “I am delighted to be able to lead this transaction to invest in a growing national financial advisory and mortgage broking business.   They both employ some truly great people and we have an excellent strategy to develop and strengthen its routes to market through intelligent strategies and investment.  

”The market opportunities available to both businesses are significant and we look forward to capitalising on these over the next few years.”

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