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Palatine Private Equity completes GBP14m MBO of John Charcol and Towergate Financial Planning

Palatine Private Equity has completed the management buy out of the mortgage broking business, John Charcol, and the financial planning business of the Towergate Group.  

The Financial Planning business will be announcing a new brand in the coming weeks whilst John Charcol will continue to trade under the brand it has successfully built over the last 40 years.
Palatine Private Equity has backed Ian Darby and the existing management team of both businesses in the management buy out. Darby has joined as full time Executive Chairman of the businesses and will work alongside the incumbent management team. The John Charcol team will also be joined by Simon Knight as CEO with further senior appointments to both teams expected to be announced very shortly. 
Palatine Private Equity and management have invested GBP14 million in the transaction. In addition to funding the initial purchase price of GBP8.64 million, these funds represent significant additional capital for the financial separation of the two businesses, investment in growth and the improvement of systems which will allow the management teams to continue to deliver high quality service levels to their private and corporate clients. As part of the transition from the Vendor, management plan to invest heavily in new IT and back office systems and as well as bolstering existing routes to market and building new ones.      
Darby is extremely familiar with the businesses having been at the helm of both before moving to Aviva Life in 2011 as Retail Director to implement its direct strategy.  Simon Knight is also no stranger to John Charcol having begun his career in the mortgage industry with them in 1987 before moving on to develop extensive experience of both broking and lending leadership roles with Private Label and GMAC-RFC.  Ian and Simon join the incumbent teams led by Warren Page (Financial Planning) and Walter Avrili (John Charcol).  Warren has successfully led both the financial planning and mortgage broking businesses since 2012 and will continue as CEO of the financial planning business. Walter joined John Charcol in 1984, he became Managing Director of the business in 2010 and is extremely well regarded in the world of mortgages for his contribution to the industry.  
Darby says: “I am delighted to be able to lead this transaction to invest in a growing national financial advisory and mortgage broking business. They both employ some truly great people and we have an excellent strategy to develop and strengthen its routes to market through intelligent strategies and investment.  The market opportunities available to both businesses are significant and we look forward to capitalising on these over the next few years.”

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