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Towry Law buys Fraser Smith for a cut-price £1m

Towry Law has paid £1m for HambroFraserSmith in a cut- price deal


following HFS&#39s calculation that its pension review costs were likely to


top £1m.


As part of the deal, HFS&#39 assets were transferred to subsidiary Fraser


Smith while its liabilities, including the review bill, will remain part of


HFS, which is being liquidated.


Towry says it has kept the FSA informed of progress and has ringfenced HFS


to ensure it can meet its liabilities.


Last year, HFS was given a cash injection of £750,000 by a group of City


business men led by Rupert Hambro of Hambros Merchant Bank and former Abbey


Life chief Michael Hepher.


Their aim was to float HFS on the stockmarket in five years and to make it


the leading fee-based advice IFA.


But it is believed that Hepher and Hambro realised they could not achieve


these ambitions with a company the size of HFS and looked to merge with a


bigger player. They will no longer feature in future plans for the company.


Towry Law is in the process of absorbing Advizas, the financial services


arm of Hogg Robinson, which it bought in January. Fraser Smith will


continue to operate as a separate entity from Towry Law for the time being.


The deal brings Towry&#39s salesforce to about 270 onshore consultants.


Chief executive Douglas Black says: “Hepher and Hambro came to the


conclusion that, to do the business they wanted, they needed to be much


larger as scale matters.”


A&B managing director Gareth Marr says: “This is a good deal for Towry and


must put them close to the number-one spot behind the networks.”

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