LEBC: ‘We have never had plans to sell’

Independent financial advisory firm LEBC has denied speculation that it was in takeover talks after confirming that it will make the switch from the Sesame network to Tenet next year.

Angus McCallum, finance and operations director at LEBC, said: “We have no, and have never had, plans to sell our business. But we receive notes of interest from time to time, as do many of our competitors. The board has to consider these on their merits.

“Our ambition is to grow our business in the post-RDR world as an independent financial adviser.”

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On the move to Tenet, Mr McCallum said the decision was due to the board’s belief that a “fresh perspective” was necessary for the next stage in the company’s growth and that the impending expiry of the three-year contract with Sesame, signed in March 2009, “offered an opportunity to obtain that fresh perspective”.

Mr McCallum added: “The financial services industry faces some challenges in the current economic climate. LEBC is not alone in taking some precautionary measures to ensure that we have a suitable financial and organisational model on which to compete.”

The company has struggled financially in the past year and in December 2010 as the subject of speculation regarding an offer for Aegon-owned IFA business Origen.

Jack McVitie, chief executive of LEBC, said at the time that he could not comment on any potential approach, but that the business is “looking to achieve growth and is exploring every avenue to achieve this”.