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Friends Provident sells off Pantheon

Friends Provident has sold its stake in Pantheon Financial Limited, writing off £23m in the process.

Buried in Resolution’s preliminary results, the firm says it disposed of its stake in the high-net worth IFA firm, which has gross assets of £4.3m to the current chief executive, James Kaberry on March 19.

It says the sell off does not have a material impact on the results of Friends Provident.

Friends Provident has written down £23m in terms of the value of the business.

Friends bought the Leeds-based firm, along with it 32 advisers and 15,000 clients, for £16.8m with potential further performance related payments, in May 2007.

Pantheon’s profits, combined with the Sesame Bankhall Group, fell 60 per cent in 2009 to £4m, down from £10m in 2008. The firm says trading conditions for distribution businesses remained challenging in 2009, while the 2008 results benefited from “one-off items”.

A spokeswoman says: “Pantheon competes in the wealth management market, which was a better fit with our previous strategy when we focused on this area of the market. Given our new strategy, Pantheon is no longer a core part of our business.

“We first announced our intention to sell Pantheon as part of our strategic review in January 2008 and we carried out a rigorous assessment of value maximising opportunities during 2008 against a difficult market for M&As.

“The management of Pantheon presented Friends Provident with an opportunity for a clear exit that provided better value than we have seen elsewhere in the market. Sesame and Lombard remain core parts of our business.”


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  1. Provider owned IFA’s are a cultural misfit-look at the disasterous experience of Skandia owned Bankhall.I predict Sesame Bankhall will be offloaded just as soon as the opportunity presents itself. RDR will make this a culturally poorer fit going forward.Life offices would be well advised to stick with what they know. Anyone prepared to make an offer to AXA for Bluefin ?

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