WH Ireland snaps up £270m of Seymour Pierce wealth assets

Michael Bow
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CITY broker WH Ireland yesterday announced it had swooped on the remnants of bankrupt broker Seymour Pierce and snapped up its wealth management business for just £25,000.

The acquisition struck between Tenebris Realisations – Seymour Pierce’s moniker since administration – and WH Ireland on Friday follows rival broker Cantor Fitzgerald’s agreement to buy substantial portions of Seymour Pierce after it fell into administration a fortnight ago.

WH Ireland chief executive Richard Killingbeck said he expected the wealth management division, which has some £270m of assets under management, to help increase the firm’s full year profits.

These came in at £2.2m last year adjusted for impairments. The assets acquired generated a profit of about £200,000 for Seymour Pierce, one of the oldest stockbrokers in the City with a 130-year pedigree, last year.

“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,” Killingbeck said in a statement.

Cantor Fitzgerald took over Seymour Pierce’s broking business at the start of February as part of a pre-pack insolvency, adding 70 clients and a host of analysts to boost its stock research coverage.

Grant Thornton was appointed as administrator after the company failed to find a backer to bail out the business.