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Inter-Alliance buys HST

National IFA giant Inter-Alliance is paying £12m for network and IFA group HST Financial, boosting its RIs to 1,300.

Norwich Union and Friends Provident are pumping £10m into Inter-Alliance, half of which will go towards funding the deal.

HST Financial chief executive Phil Lockyer will remain in control of operations at HST. Its Host IFA, Sage network and Trinon non-regulated mortgage network brands will continue for the present.

HST brings 300 RIs to Inter-Alliance, with 190 in Host and 110 trading through Sage, as well as a further 100 mortgage advisers with Trinon.

The deal gives Inter-Alliance a wider spread of distribution channels as depolarisation of the market looms.

Lockyer, who previously worked under Inter-Alliance chairman and chief executive Keith Carby at Allied Dunbar, will become head of distribution at Inter-Alliance once the deal is rubber-stamped in August.

The cash injection brings Norwich Union&#39s stake in Inter-Alliance to 7.3 per cent, with Friends holding 4.3 per cent.

HST Financial says it has recently moved into profit after the closure of 13 regional offices of its Host Partnership earlier this year.

Carby predicts the group, which announced a £21.7m loss earlier this year, will incur losses this year but break into profit next year. He says: “HST is an excellent fit for Inter-Alliance and the enlarged group now has a strong foundation on which to build a national brand.”

Lockyer says: “The new organisation is going to be an extremely vibrant and exciting place to be. We have constructed a new management team that reflects the synergy of our two organisations.”

Friends life and pensions managing director Ben Gunn says: “I am confident the track record and determination of the new management team will develop Inter-Alliance into a top-flight operation.”

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