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.