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Towry agrees Bluefin acquisition

Towry has confirmed it is to acquire Bluefin Personal Consulting for an undisclosed sum.

The deal to acquire Bluefin’s advice arm sees Towry take on 19 wealth planners and 70 support staff. It will also acquire 1,500 clients with around £500m of assets.

Towry chief executive Andrew Fisher says: “We are very pleased to have signed this agreement, which is in line with our stated strategic objective to grow by acquisition. The BPC proposition will further strengthen and broaden the range of services we can offer to both Towry and BPC clients.”

Axa group strategy director Ed Bradshaw says: “Axa UK is delighted to have reached this agreement with Towry, which is well placed to offer high quality planning and personal financial advice to BPC clients in future.”

Axa sold Bluefin’s corporate arm, Bluefin Corporate Consulting, to Capita in April 2012 for £50m. It retains the GI broker arm.  

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 later declared the 2009 targets were not reached, meaning the deal cost Axa £40m.

Bluefin was forced to write-down £62m in October 2010 due to costs relating to its restructure, which included cutting its private client adviser headcount from 180 to just 50.

PMI Independent Financial Advisers director John Stewart says: “Hopefully Towry will be able to provide Bluefin advisers with a better home. It is obviously not central to what Axa is trying to do.”

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