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MBO could be an option as Bluefin goes up for sale

Axa has put Bluefin Advisory Services up for sale and reports suggest current chief executive Nick Burns may look to lead a management buyout.

There has been speculation the advice arm, which includes Bluefin’s wealth management and corporate advice businesses, could be sold for £100m.

Bluefin Wealth Management has 30 financial planners while Bluefin Corporate Consulting has 200 consultants and actuaries.

Fenchurch Advisory Partners will advise Axa on the sale, which does not include general insurance broking business Bluefin Insurance Group. Axa bought Thinc Group, which became Bluefin, for up to £100m in October 2006 but this fell to £40m as targets were not met. In October 2010, Bluefin Advisory Services reported a £62m writedown due to restructure costs, which included cutting its private client advisers from 180 to 50.

Bloomsbury Financial Planning partner Jason Butler says: “I do not think Bluefin Advisory Services is worth £100m. It is only the employee benefits business that is worth anything, the wealth management business is just an accumulation of other businesses without any real client relationships.”


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