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Merchant Cap in Clarkson deal

The Clarkson Hill Group has accepted an offer in principle from Merchant Capital and the firms are battling to secure FSA permission for a bulk transfer of advisers, Money Marketing understands.

Merchant Capital will structure a new advice business for the Clarkson Hill advisers if the regulator grants a transfer.

In July, Clarkson Hill directors Ron Pritchard and Mike Robinson made subordinated loans to the firm of almost £600,000 to meet capital requirements but they were not enough to satisfy the FSA. On December 3, the FSA removed Clarkson Hill’s regulatory permissions and compliance director Martin Field left on the same day, according to the FSA register.

The Merchant Capital deal is designed to ensure Clarkson Hill advisers can resume advising as quickly as possible.

Moneygate said on Friday it had been conducting due diligence on Clarkson Hill for three months with an eye to a deal, but its attempts to contact the firm’s directors have gone unanswered for two weeks. It said it has approached the FSA to try to secure permission for a bulk transfer and the regulator is understood to be considering the request.

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