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Towry in talks to acquire Bluefin’s advice arm

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Andrew Fisher’s Towry is reported to be close to acquiring Bluefin’s adviser arm

Towry is in talks to buy Axa’s Bluefin Personal Consulting, according to The Sunday Times.

The report says a deal could be agreed to acquire the advice arm within days.

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

It has been looking to offload Bluefin for some time after putting it up for sale in 2011.  

Towry revealed earlier this year that it was looking to expand the business through acquisition ”to take advantage of the post-RDR market opportunities”.  

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.

A Towry spokesman says: “We do not comment on any speculation regarding our acquisition strategy. Towry has been actively looking at a number of opportunities to acquire advice firms and recruit individual financial advisers, and will announce all deals as and when they are completed.”

An Axa spokeswoman says the company does not comment on market speculation. 

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Comments

There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. This would be a very poor fit. Those remaining at Bluefin are not the old Thinc ‘sales force’ but highly qualified financial planners who survived Thinc’s attempt to convert them into sales force robots. In view of Towry’s past history of aggressive client retention following acquisitions, anyone remaining with Bluefin would be best off getting out now and hoping that their clients follow them at their own choice. Final nail in the coffin….

  2. It really is time that the advisers at Bluefin decided whether they wish to work for their clients or some corporate asset stripper.

  3. Anne is 100% correct. History shows…

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