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Merchant House acquires Clarkson Hill assets and launches new business

Merchant House Group has launched a new financial planning division after acquiring certain assets from Clarkson Hill Group.

Merchant House’s new business aims to recruit up to 200 IFAs which it says can better service its clients as the retail distribution review draws closer.

Merchant House Financial Services’ acquisition of certain assets from Clarkson Hill does not include the bulk transfer of its IFAs or clients. The deal covers certain commission debtors – amounting to approximately £4m – administrative staff, fixtures and fittings and the company records.

MHFS has agreed to collect the commission debtors due to CHG out of which up to £3.75 million will be payable to the administrator and third parties and an estimated £250,000 to MHFS.

Merchant House chairman James Holmes says: “We are in talks with all 200 or so Clarkson Hill IFAs and we are confident that a number of them will join our new business. We have a strong pitch in terms of the same deal the currently have, same offices and hopefully a wider range of products.”

MHFS has also announced the appointment Nic Brown as managing director of MHFS and a director on the management board. Brown was previously a founding director of Foster Denovo.

MHFS plans to cover the same regulated products as CHG, these include covering regulated products such as life assurance, pensions and collective investment schemes, term assurance, permanent health insurance and medical expenses insurance.

CHG announced on December 17, 2010, that it had gone into administration and had appointed Bridge Business Recovery LLP as its administrator.

Moneygate recently announced that it had given up on a deal for Clarkson Hill Group but stated it is welcoming applications from the group’s former advisers to join the firm.

Clarkson Hill Group chief executive Ron Pritchard says: “We searched for sometime to find the right company where we felt able to recommend to our independent advisors and clients that they could find a home. We have been impressed with the professional approach of Merchant and feel confident that those of our advisors and clients that go there will be well looked after.”

Merchant House Group chief executive Christopher Day says: “The launch of this new business venture for us compliments our other businesses and is a further step in our strategy plan. As with our other businesses, we believe we have identified a market opportunity and the right team to implement the opportunity. I would like to welcome our new colleagues and I wish them well within the group.”


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There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Angry X CHG High Producing Adviser 23rd December 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Ron Pritchard has turned out to be totally inept and disloyal to hundreds of advisers who trusted him when he said everything will be ok.

    “I hope he has a very happy Christmas”

    And now he wants me to sign 12 more months of my life away with out telling me how much my family will get for Christmas – I cant believe it, Too many lies. I am moving on NOW

  2. I am always wary of those that say, “I would like to welcome”.

    Why don’t they go all the way and say, “I welcome”.

    ‘I would like to’ always intimates to me that the person saying the words would like to do something but in actual fact can’t or doesn’t want to.

    Having said that though I do hope that the Advisers are soon settled into a new workable environment.

    It cannot have been an easy time for these guys.

  3. I just hope that we get to see a decent proportion of the commission owing to us but I’m not holding my breath. £250,000 to collect £4m is a pretty good fee – perhaps they’re putting it into an onshore bond?

    No doubt the compensation scheme levy we all pay will rise as a result of this in the near future.

    At least the old directors of CHG appear to have nothing to do with the new business so, IMHO, it may have a chance of success then!

  4. Have you noticed how this industry continually throws up people who always talk about identifying an opportunity? What opportunities can possibly exist in an industry that perpetually re-invents itself?

    Selling financial services is finite – it doesn’t push the boundaries of research ever wider, opening up new horizons for the benefit of humankind.

    There is nothing new in the FS world, so why do these individuals try to kid everyone (and themselves) that there is?

    As usual, the advisers are left to flounder facing Hobson’s Choice with their future livelihoods.

  5. The writing has been on the wall for most of 2010.It follows the same patterns as others.
    Directors denying the business is in trouble and making excuses for non payment to advisers. Then they have the cheek to recommend where they should go in future.

  6. I hope this does not turn into another Park Row for the sake of the advisers.

    The best solution here is a clean break.

  7. “strong pitch” “same deal” “same offices”


    Waste of time, just more piled upon the rest of you via the FSCS until the next one, and the next one.

    This is like polar bears jumping from melting iceberg to melting iceberg.

  8. Will this new operation pay out the outstanding claims for compensation owed by Clarkson Hill to customers in receipt of poor advice?

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