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Key plans move into IHT and annuities

Key Retirement Solutions is planning to buy its way into theinheritance tax planning and annuity markets funded by private equity group Cabot Square, which has bought a 60 per cent stake in the firm.

Key is looking for acquisitions to sit alongside its existing equity-release business, which it plans to grow by recruiting 40 new advisers this year.

It enquired about buying Berkeley Berry Birch’s national IFA business Weston in December but BBB executives failed to respond to its enquiries before Weston was sold to Bates Investment Services in March.

Cabot Square replaces Anglo Irish Bank which held a 51 per cent stake in the firm. Key managing director Colin Taylor says the change provides the funding for it to acquire businesses that match its desire to move into IHT and annuities.

Key stresses it will keep its equity-release arm separate from any new lines of business.

Taylor says: “We have the capital resources with Cabot Square on board to acquire and move into new fields but it is hard to find someone that would fit with our strategy. With Weston, I was amazed that BBB never got back to us, especially with creditors now getting so little back.”

Mortgage Force managing director Rob Clifford says: “There is an intrinsic link between equity release and wider retirement planning so it makes perfect sense.”

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