Ludgate Finance eyes expansion after move to new offices
A team of financial experts are predicting a bright future after establishing a permanent presence in the Black Country.
Ludgate Finance which, along with its sister business Poppleton & Appleby, already has offices in Birmingham and Coventry, has expanded by opening a new office in between Wolverhampton and Walsall as it targets a bigger slice of the Black Country market.
The company was established in 2007 and specialises in fundraising, turnaround and financial troubleshooting for business.
The new office, in Gipsy Lane, Willenhall, will be headed up by the firm’s business development manager Steve Grice.
Ludgate Finance decided to establish a permanent presence in the region after the company’s portfolio of clients in the Black County and Staffordshire grew rapidly during the last six months, following Mr Grice’s appointment.
Mr Grice said he was delighted to have been given the task of running the firm’s new Wolverhampton office: “As we continue to expand our portfolio of clients in the north of the region, it seemed sensible to establish a permanent presence in the area in order to make it as convenient as possible for them to meet with us face to face,” he said.
Firms win government funding
Two Worcester-based companies have won grant funding from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board for a major innovative research and development project.
The project is led by Aeromet International, based in Blackpole and one of the key partners is JVM Castings, based on the Droitwich Road, also in Worcester, and won through after two rounds of intense applications.
The project is based around Aeromet’s innovative new aluminium alloy A20X and its objective is to produce large demonstrator castings for both the aerospace and automotive markets.
Aeromet’s business development director Alan Dustan said: “Ultimately the aim is to protect and create jobs in the mid-term within high value, high technology markets and the support received via the Technology Strategy Board’s funding will play a critical part within the overall process.”
The total cost of the project is £830,000 and the Technology Strategy Board has offered grant funding of £384,000. Funding was agreed after a successful application to the Technology Inspired Innovation competition for collaborative R&D funding.
Quilter sold for £175m
Investment management firm Quilter has been sold to private equity firm Bridgepoint in a deal reported to be worth about £175 million.
The sale of the firm, which looks after £7.6 billion of funds for charities, trusts, pension funds and private clients, has been agreed by previous owner Morgan Stanley.
Martin Baines, chief executive of Quilter, which has a Birmingham office on Bennetts Hill, said the takeover represented an opportunity for the firm.
He said: “This is an extremely exciting move for us, not least because Bridgepoint is very enthusiastic about our management team and our strategy for the firm. It is a tried and tested team that has been in place for many years in spite of changes of ownership.”
Quilter was bought by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in 2008, after two years of ownership by Citigroup.
The terms of the transaction, planned to complete in the first quarter of 2012, were not disclosed, but The Telegraph has reported it is worth around £175 million.
Mr Baines added: “The Quilter team has long maintained its belief in the strength of the Quilter brand, and now, as an independent entity, we will have even more flexibility in how we operate.”
Executives step down as RSM Tenon reveals loss
Senior executives at business adviser RSM Tenon have stepped down after the group revealed it expects to report a loss for the first half due to pricing pressures amid a difficult economy.
Bob Morton and Andy Raynor have resigned as chairman and chief executive respectively at the company, which has two offices employing hundreds of people in Birmingham.
Deputy chairman Adrian Martin has been promoted as executive chairman at RSM Tenon, which operates across the audit and advisory, risk management and financial management segments.
The company, which competes with business advisory firms like BDO and Grant Thornton, said revenue for the six months ended December 31 was about 10 per cent lower than the previous year as clients were more cautious about transaction-based activities.
The group said in a statement: “Pricing and similar underlying trading effects account for approximately half of the revenue decline with the balance arising from updated accounting estimates.”
The company, which has been carrying out a comprehensive review of its financial accounts under its new finance chief Adrian Gardner, said it might restate its financial year 2011 results and incur some additional one-off charges for the first half.
Mr Martin said: “The company’s performance is clearly disappointing and my immediate priority is to instigate and execute the necessary actions to improve profitability and cash generation. RSM Tenon has a strong market position and client base, as well as dedicated and loyal employees.
“The board remains confident of the future prospects for the company and that a successful turnaround can be delivered.”
McCarthy Taylor expands into larger offices
A Worcestershire-based financial firm has moved to bigger city centre premises.
McCarthy Taylor, a firm of independent financial advisers which also has offices in Evesham, has moved from College Precincts to larger offices in Edgar Street.
Managing director Paul Taylor said: “Due to the growth and expansion of McCarthy Taylor in Worcester we have outgrown our existing Worcester city property.
“Although this has been a difficult year, and indeed I am quoted in the national financial press as saying things will remain difficult throughout 2012, we have found growing demand for our services from clients who appreciate transparent fee-based advice and are looking for advice to manage their wealth in turbulent markets.
“This has meant creating space for continued organic growth of our firm and we are pleased to be an integral part of the city.”
Former rugby player joins financial adviser
Independent financial advisers AWD Chase de Vere has appointed former rugby league player Paul Fox as private client advice manager for the north.
Mr Fox will be accountable for the delivery of AWD Chase de Vere’s proposition in the firm’s Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Preston offices. He will report directly to AWD Chase de Vere’s chief executive Stephen Kavanagh.
In addition to revenue targets, he will take responsibility for meeting business quality standards, developing relationships with professional advisers such as lawyers and accountants and the recruitment of top quality financial advisers.
He has 32 years industry experience, most recently as director of Business Relations at LEBC, but was previously a professional rugby league player, representing Castleford, Halifax and Featherstone Rovers.
Mr Fox said: “I am really pleased to be joining AWD Chase de Vere and helping develop their independent financial advice business in the Midlands, North of England and Scotland.
“I am looking forward to working alongside the existing teams and exploring further recruitment opportunities as we aim to recruit and grow in each of our offices.”