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TMP buy sees Craven and Bates reunited

The Money Portal is buying financial services consultancy Clearwell in a deal that will see Richard Craven reunited with Graham Bates.

Clearwell, set up 18 months ago by Bates and former Egg Invest managing director Andrew Firth, provides online consumer-facing technology that will be used to bolster TMP subsidiaries Sage and Millfield’s web propositions.

TMP managing director Craven says Clearwell should cut advisers’ costs by delivering more efficient compliance.

Firth joins the TMP board as chief operating officer. Clearwell strategy director Tony Vail also joins the TMP executive team and Bates will work one day a week as a consultant. Bates sold Bates Investment Services to TMP in September 2003 but he fell out with TMP the following year and left. Bates says: “I am delighted to be renewing our relationship. Richard and myself have been exploring opportunities for some time.

“There are not that many great ways of interacting with consumers. We hope we have built something that will enable a true interaction between advisers and consumers starting with a front-end internet-based system, supported by phone back-up and completed with face-to-face advice.”

Craven says: “I am delighted to be working with Graham again. We hope the acquisition of Clearwell will enable us to reduce costs. This should improve compliance, research and all elements of advisers’ serv- ice obligations.”

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