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Skipton to pay up to £9m for Pearson Jones stake

Skipton Building Society is taking a 75 per cent stake in IFA firm Pearson Jones for an initial sum of £3m and a potential payment of up to £9m, depending on its performance.

The majority stake in the firm, which has 29 RIs, sees Skipton add to its existing stable of IFA businesses, including Skipton Financial Services and execution-only firm Direct Life and Pensions. It brings the total IFAs in the Skipton group to 100.

The society says it may look at a multi-tie structure for parts of its IFA businesses while keeping other parts wholly independent.

It plans to buy Pearson Jones outright within the next 10 years but will keep its current brand name and run it as an independent company with its existing board of directors, including managing director Andrew Pearson.

Leeds-based Pearson Jones generated a turnover of £4.7m in the year ended August 31 2002 and has around 12,000 clients. It specialises in wealth management, with income split equally between fees and commission.

Skipton says Pearson Jones operates in a distinctly different market from SFS, a commission-based IFA which gets most of its business through the society&#39s 80-branch network and focuses on investment products.

Skipton says it is looking to expand its IFA business further and would consider suitable acquisitions, especially in the south of England, where it has a limited presence.

Chief executive and director John Goodfellow says: “Pearson Jones is undoubtedly a quality IFA which is big on customer service and loyalty. It is an excellent fit within the Skipton Group and our three IFA firms are radically different.”

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