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Thinc directors miss out on £60m deferred Axa payment

Former Thinc Destini directors will not receive their share of a £60m deferred payment for the group from Axa after it failed to hit performance targets.

In October 2006, Axa’s Advisory Services arm, now called Bluefin, bought Thinc for a total £100m consideration. This included a £10m initial payment and a £60m deferred consideration based on the group’s performance in 2009, as well as £30m to restructure its debts.

However Grant Thornton has declared the 2009 targets were not reached, meaning the deal has cost Axa just £40m in total.

On October 5, Money Marketing revealed Bluefin had reported a £62m write-down due to costs relating to its restructure, which included cutting its headcount from 180 to just 50.

A statement from Bluefin says: “Market conditions and the regulatory environment, for example the mortgage market, which could not have been anticipated in 2006 has impacted the Bluefin Advisory Services group of companies and its clients. This was a major factor in the financial performance of the business in 2009.

“Bluefin Advisory Services remains a strong business which is well placed for RDR. Both divisions Bluefin Wealth Management and Bluefin Corporate Consulting are performing well and the business as a whole is moving into a growth phase.” 

Former Thinc Group chief executive Simon Chamberlain and other former Thinc directors were majority owners of the group along with Hbos, now owned by Lloyds Banking Group, and Friends Provident who had small shareholder positions.

Update to story: Chamberlain gave up all rights to any deferred payments when he left the firm in July 2007.


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There are 13 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. David Quarrell APFS 8th December 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Great news , this is Karma ! Anyone who came under Thinc’s carve up of Network 300 will understand.

  2. So it has cost AXA ‘only’ £40m – Great way to buy a 50 strong business boys!

    And the write-downs, of course.

    Would you like to come and have a look at my business on that basis……

    Maybe Father Xmas will be coming early this year!

  3. I am pleased to hear that the greedy directors have missed out. I had a lucky escape in not joing the group but some of my friends were less fortunate and got shafted.

  4. What goes around comes around. In the dark days after the demise of Network 300 we did not have much to smile about.

    I and many others will be allowing ourselves a little smirk now.

    Less than 3p on every £1 lost

  5. Had the misfortune to join Thinc, had to listen to Chamberlain and his shotage of vocabulary,with his foul mouth, then the lies at presentations about going forward only 3 days before being sold down the river.
    Shame there is no snach back/reversale of fees of what they received.

    Happy Christmas, hope you had not spent all of the money.

  6. Not the first time that Simon has missed a target but this is his most expensive failure. I am sure that someone out there will sympathise with him even if it is only the devil!

  7. I feel very sorry for the directors and managers of Thinc who missed out on bonuses. Everything about the acquisition of our previous company was done with the client in mind. None of the managers were only thinking of taking short-term commission in order to boost the company profits and consequently their share of the earn-out. It’s such a shame that so many of the good advisers felt the need to go elsewhere in order to provide unbiased, honest advice to their clients.Thinc provided us with all of the support that we needed to provide whole-of-market advice to our clients and certainly didn’t employ a Director of Propositions to cobble together some off-the-peg solutions that were completely unsuitable for them. I can imagine that they are gutted after all the hard work and dedication that they invested in the business when they could have taken the easy way out and put in a quick-sale process while they all disappeared down the pub. What a black day for Financial Services.

  8. We’re going to Party, Kalamu, Fiesta, forever. Come on and sing along!

  9. Look what goes around comes around. The directors started to believe the own b…t.

    I just cant believe how SC and his crew convinced so many institutional investors. Clients dont come first to any of the outfits and the advisers who join need to start getting smart. Im sick that managers move from one organisation to another take advisers with them for their own gains.Advisers get smart stay put and give your clients a consistent service! If you have been shafted its your own fault!!!!

  10. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer man!

  11. Not many tears shed over this news it seems. I wish to declare no personal interest in (or direct knowledge of) Thinc but every story I saw written about it suggested one thing – Avoid

  12. It’s amazing how much money life co’s are able to burn through in their fruitless attempts to buy influence in the IFA market. Bankhall, Parkrow etc etc.


  13. The FSA should look into the original deal, was it based upon a fully informed commercial decision as is required by the rules?

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