Towergate revealed earlier today that it had acquired John Charcol but chief executive Ian Darby has since revealed that he was contacted with the offer last week by administrators Grant Thornton.
Darby says the firm, which had debts of £7m according to its last annual report, was moved over to Towergate last night. It has bought the whole firm, including its 100 plus staff, customer base, London office and brand. Darby says it will continue to operate under the John Charcol brand: “the structure of the business is fit for purpose,” he says.
Towergate says it will also take on all of John Charcol’s liabilities as part of buying the customer book.
Darby says the John Charcol business is still fully operational and was chosen because it is a “retail distribution review friendly” set-up that “fits within the Towergate family” and will present cross-selling opportunities for the insurance business. He says the managment of the firm will not change but new non-executive directors will be appointed.
Darby admitted that Charcol’s single-tie protection deal with Legal & General will be assessed “very quickly” but could not confirm whether it would be severing the deal.