SimplyBiz: We could return Bankhall to ‘glory years’

SimplyBiz has confirmed to FTAdviser that it is interested in acquiring support services provider Bankhall from Sesame Bankhall Group if it is for sale, saying it “has the capacity to restore it back to its glory years”.

Sesame is remaining tight-lipped as to whether Bankhall is for sale, and refused to comment on “market speculation”.

In July David Golder took up the role of client proposition director at SimplyBiz. Mr Golder was appointed as managing director of Bankhall in October 2009, but left the group in March 2010.

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Sesame Group completed the acquisition of Bankhall Group from Skandia UK to form the Sesame Bankhall Group in October 2009.

Matt Timmins, managing director at SimplyBiz, said: “We are very interested in it. If Sesame is selling Bankhall, SimplyBiz would be a good home for it as it has the capacity to restore it back to its glory years.

“David Golder knows the business inside out already. If it’s up for sale we are keen.”

In May, Andy Briggs, chief executive of Resolution, hinted that the disposal of Sesame Bankhall Group remains high on the agenda for Friends Life, as the provider pins its hopes on “strong growth” in auto-enrolment.

Sesame confirmed in February that Barclays Capital had been appointed to review options for the firm, with Mr Briggs stating in March that IFA firms and networks were “best owned by entrepreneurs not FTSE 100 companies” as he gave his strongest indication to date that Resolution was set to dispose of the advisory group.

At the time, a joint statement from SBG and its parent company Friends Life said work was at an “early stage”.

The statement said: “Over the past two years, SBG has unveiled a broader range of propositions and these developments have helped SBG to strengthen its position as the UK’s largest financial services group for professional advisers, with continued growth in revenue, adviser productivity and new members.”