Lighthouse cites low appetite for IFAs as it seeks delisting

IFA firm Lighthouse Group is seeking approval from shareholders to de-list from the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange, stating that investors are increasingly reluctant to invest in or own independent advice firms ahead of the Retail Distribution Review.

Although the company has seen turnover rise from £5m in 2001 to £60m this year, turning a £1.5m loss into a £1.6m profit, the company’s share price has plunged from 60p to 4.88p over the same period.

The company’s board claims this “clearly demonstrates that sentiment for IFA business amongst the investment community has declined dramatically over the past decade”.

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In a statement posted on the London Stock Exchange, the company said: “The scale of the structural, regulatory and trading challenges now facing the IFA industry makes it extremely difficult to forecast the trading outlook for the next few years.”

It added that the structural changes many IFA firms are undergoing to prepare for RDR makes it difficult to reliably predict future terms of trade.

“The board has concluded that none of the benefits traditionally associated with being admitted to trading on Aim have applied to the company for some considerable time and this is not expected to change in the foreseeable future.”

Shareholders have been warned that the delisting of their shares from Aim may have tax implications.