Advisers to Aim companies face fight to retain clients

COMPETITION for providing financial services to growth companies has been fierce over the past quarter, as firms listed on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) struggle to keep their costs to a bare minimum in continuing tough market conditions.

Law firms, stockbrokers and nominated advisers (Nomads) have all struggled to retain a consistent client base over the last three months, the latest Hemscott Aim adviser rankings show.

For the first time in the survey’s history, no law firm now has over 50 clients on its books, after table leader Pinsent Masons lost three over the quarter to leave it with 48.

Top-ranked broker Seymour Pierce also lost a clutch of its nominated advisory clients to take it back down to 86, narrowing the gap between it and second-placed Arbuthnot, which was quick to jump on the market opportunities by adding a handful of clients as both a broker and adviser.

Elsewhere, newly-merged public relations firm Pelham Bell Pottinger added two clients, leapfrogging Buchanan Communications into second place, behind FD. KPMG, the second-ranked auditor, lost eight clients to move down to a tally of 142, widening the gulf between it and leader Grant Thornton.