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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a645609

WH Ireland tight-lipped amid talk Compton quit in boardroom bust-up

by Dylan Lobo on Dec 14, 2012 at 07:53

WH Ireland tight-lipped amid talk Compton quit in boardroom bust-up

A trading update from WH Ireland today offered little insight as to why chief executive Paul Compton quit the firm amid talk a row over his personal share dealings led to his sudden departure.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange yesterday, the private client stockbroker stunned the market with news Compton (pictured) was leaving the firm with 'immediate effect' just two years into his tenure.

The news sparked a plunge in the firm's value, with shares falling from 72.5p to close at 56p, a loss of 25%.

According to the Times, Compton left after a disagreement with the board over his share dealings and is believed to have sold around 66% of his stake in the firm shortly after his departure.

Today's trading update showed Compton had left the WH Ireland in decent shape but offered no mention of its former chief executive.

The firm said in the year to 30 November 2012 group revenue increased to £25 million, resulting in a significant improvement in the underlying trading performance.

'The group achieved a good balance between investing in the business and a continued focus on the cost base, and further strengthened the balance sheet with an improved net cash position at the year end compared to the prior year,'  WH Ireland said in an accompanying statement.

Within this it said wealth management had 'considerably' strengthened its offering through the acquisition of the client list of Pritchard Stockbrokers and the resulting expansion of its regional office network.

It said the majority of former Pritchard clients had successfully migrated to the group, helping assets under management or influence have exceeded £1.6 billion.

WH Ireland chairman Rupert Lowe told the market: 'The group has made good progress in 2012. While underlying markets remain challenging, momentum with corporate client wins, an increasing pipeline of corporate finance work and a reinvigorated strategy within the private wealth management business, enable us to look to 2013 with cautious optimism.'

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3 comments so far. Why not have your say?

former employee

Dec 14, 2012 at 09:09

So if as the WHI claim " the majority of Pritchards clients " went to whi why have they refused to pay the second half of the agreed aquisition cost of the Pritchards deal ? Who would want to do business with an outfit that behaved like this?

In My Opinion Comptons departure stinks there is more to this than meets the eye I reckon.A hastilly written trading update is likely an attempt to deflect attention from the real issues .

report this

Beside an Insider

Dec 14, 2012 at 10:14

The client base has been fattened to pass off all the Enterprise Investment Scheme junk that WHI plan to take a cut of. WIlls & Co all over again, but with the added lure of 'tax relief'.

WHI thought they were being clever by withholding that payment to Pritchard, but it's made their newly recruited advisors and clients realise exactly what they've signed up to.

report this

former employee

Dec 14, 2012 at 14:10

http://news.sky.com/story/1025569/broker-widens-probe-into-suspicious-trades

....and now this !!

report this

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