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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a659494

WH Ireland receives £270m windfall from Seymour Pierce buy

by Daniel Grote on Feb 18, 2013 at 08:10

WH Ireland receives £270m windfall from Seymour Pierce buy

WH Ireland has received a £270 million boost to assets under management after buying the wealth management business of defunct broker Seymour Pierce.

WH Ireland has paid £25,000 for Seymour Pierce’s client list for its private wealth management business, which generated a profit of £200,000 in the year to the end of September 2012. Seymour Pierce entered into administration earlier this month.

The deal has increased WH Ireland’s assets under management by 15%.

WH Ireland chief executive Richard Killingbrek, who replaced Paul Compoton (pictured) following his sudden departure, said the acquisition would strengthen the company’s London presence.

‘Part of our private client growth strategy is to seek to acquire private client teams and assets in existing WH Ireland office locations and this transaction will add considerably to our London-based assets under management,’ he said.

8 comments so far. Why not have your say?

CoeurDeLion87

Feb 18, 2013 at 08:45

£270m FUM generating £200,000 for £25,000...something doesn't add up. I suspect they've bought the defunct list which any broker will tell you is pretty much worthless and very troublesome. But that's what happens when bankers move in to broking firms- same thing happened to SP when Harris arrived. Promises promises promises.

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PCIAM

Feb 18, 2013 at 09:46

I heard (second- rather than third-hand) some rather unsettling things about the way the Pritchard Stockbrokers deal was handled. Much brandishing of sticks and very little waving of carrots at the staff in that case suggests that the WHI management team may not have had the clients interests at the forefront of their collective mind, and that some of their activities may have been... unjustifiable and of a dubious nature.

The problem with PS was Craig White sepcifically and the management team in general, and not the employees. Do bear in mind that most of these clients had been perfectly well looked after by PS employees, whether salaried or self-employed, and the intellectual property remained pretty much intact even after the Head Office door was broken down.

Unfortunately, our regulatory infrastructure, the envy of the modern world, allowed that intellectual property to be written down to nil in about twnety-four hours. It would be very interesting to hear from any surviving ex-PS employees who are still working for WHI. Anonymous posters are welcome.

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CoeurDeLion87

Feb 18, 2013 at 11:32

PS was handled rather like a baseball situation; three strikes & you're OUT. Agree entirely that PS demise was unnecessary but one could say the same about 100s of other PC firm closures since '86. With SP disappearing in another refinancing fiasco c/o our regulators it's clear that there's a deliberate attempt to extinguish small micro-firms handling the 'public's interests' and yet no-one has seen any attempt by regulators to get to grips with derivatives traders, carbon credits traders, bankers & a host of other equally terrifying culprits who have a clear drive to part hard earned cash from investors. That's NOT something that could have been said of PS or SP nor indeed any of the other traditional firms that have been closed down since '86. RDR is just the latest farce that the PCIAM industry has had to face although many seem to see it as a perfect opportunity to acquire FREE assets which is what this article is all about. When is someone in authority going to connect with the concept that markets and firms operating in these markets should be allowed to trade and advise freely? The public are NOT stupid and especially with the internet today culprits can be named and shamed. By backing a regulator that enforces and closes does too much harm to the fabric of the market which desperately needs innovation, experience and direction, something which is lacking right now.

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PCIAM

Feb 19, 2013 at 15:36

I agree. But there are only too many policy wonks in dubious organisations in whose interest it is to laud RDR. Look at this - from Moneyfacts today:

"RDR could boost advice levels

Research by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has suggested that at least 14 million consumers could seek financial advice for the first time as a result of changes under the Retail Distribution Review (RDR). The CII's survey found over 5 million people who had previously dismissed financial advice, are now thought to be reconsidering it as a result of the RDR, although the CII believes more effort must be made with communicating the benefits of the RDR to members of the public. Laurence Baxter, head of policy and research at the CII, said: "Although there has been progress since 2011, a better communication plan is needed if the market is really going to benefit from improved public trust and confidence which was a central objective of the RDR."

Doncha just luv it? I can predict it will be brandished as evidence that RDR was a well thought out plan all along. It would be fascinating to know just what the CII survey did ask them, and what the sample size actually was - I find it hard to believe that 5 million people were approached, for a start. And what about the 'more effort must be made' comment. If it hasn't been sold yet, a better communication plan will make b all difference.

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CoeurDeLion87

Feb 19, 2013 at 16:21

Is it just coincidence that Citywire reports that there are around 5m people now without advice as a result of the RDR fiasco and then CII as reported by you just now (where is Citywire on this issue now?) claim that a survey has been conducted by 5m people (surely NOT the same people!) who are reconsidering advice. It strikes me that the 5m people reported who don't receive advice as a result of RDR might be/are the very same people who are being forced to seek advice and services from the pro-RDR lobby. In other words what PCIAM & CdeL have been writing on Citywire for umpteen months is indeed right...the whole RDR fiasco has been about asset stripping by stealth, that is killing off independence for branded streamlined bigger financial services & products. Incidentally where is the transparency issue now re charging? I see Alan Miller is still pressing home the 'real cost of financial services' quite rightly and the regulator is still calling itself FSA..Furthermore CISI are claiming success with sub-6,000 Level 4+ members from a total membership of some 40,000. Please don't get me on the issue of OPINION being treated the same as ADVICE by the regulator. Fortunately the Oxford English Dictionary supports my view that they are totally different BUT the regulators are STILL suggesting otherwise.It's a shambles!

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former employee

Feb 20, 2013 at 09:22

The Pritchard aquisition was " dubious " to say the least with a number of self employed brokers whose client " cleared " their business through that company suddenly seeing these clients "sold " from under them.They were not Pritchards to sell - yet the FSA allowed it .

What is not reported is the fact that a few wise men ran for cover when when WHI moved in and took their clients with them to reputable companies . At least £30 m I reckon has left .

WHI s back office cannot cope with the Pritchards business that it did keep . God knows what will happen trying to sort the SP mess.

WHI never wanted the Pritchard people and has disposed of a number of the poor soles who went with them .With Compton and Tyler being sacked for what appears some dubious dealings I am suprised that the regulator is allowing further such deals to go WHI s way.

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CoeurDeLion87

Feb 20, 2013 at 09:40

That's very interesting 'former employee' and sadly these actions from FSA have been repeated many times since 2000. Ownership of client bases is a moot point BUT regulators in UK fail to acknowledge that 'books of clients' can be owned by anyone other than the regulated entities. It makes the side contracts/commission agreements totally worthless at the end of the day; it's great for lawyers and firms when there's some mopping up to be done BUT there's absolutely ZERO concern for the interest of clients or the Associates effected who by the way take 100% liability for the whole saga.

PERHAPS IT'S TIME FOR A TRADE BODY THAT LOOKS AFTER THE INTERESTS OF 'REAL' UNLIMITED LIABILITY STOCKBROKERS RATHER THAN SUPPORTING CISI THAT HAS SUPPORTED THE RDR FIASCO. EVERYONE SHOULD NOW BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE STATE OF THE PRIVATE MARKET AS 'WEALTH/STEALTH' HAS TAKEN OVER IN PREFERENCE OVER THE TRANSACTIONAL SIDE THAT SUPPORTS THE ETHOS OF THE MARKET, THAT IS TO SUPPORT CAPITAL RAISING FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. THE CONSTANT ONSLAUGHT FROM THE REGULATOR CANNOT BE HEALTHY FOR ALL CONCERNED ESPECIALLY THE PRIVATE INVESTOR WHO IS NOW BEING STIFLED OF CHOICE.

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former employee

Feb 20, 2013 at 11:01

Another abject failing of the regulator emerges from this and that is the efficient and timely transfer of clients assets .Where cients elect to move with their preferred brokers to other companies and sign the required paperwork there is no enforcement of the time taken of the transfer of assets .

Hence an outfit loosing clients can simply can take months to transfer clients stocks .This is clearly not in the clients interest and yet the FSA will not get involved saying that " they do not get involved in disputes between firms " - I was under the belief that the FSA was there to protect the investor ????

In allowing rediuculously long transfer times they simply protect the weak companies who are loosing clients . These companies can artificially quote greater " funds under management " in the meantime to support their share prices.

In the USA where a client elects to move his assets to another firm the incumbant has 5 DAYS to complete the transfer or gets fined - now that IS in the clients interest . What possible justification is there in the FSA s current stance of essentially " unlimited " transfer times ?Certain firms have "bad reputations " in the City for being slow so why arent they punnished?

No doubt many of you reading this will have gone through something similar .

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