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Lighthouse Exeter office set to close

The chief executive of the listed advisory firm was referring to the stock exchange announcement last week, which revealed that staff at Lighthouse Group’s Exeter branch were in a consultation process that could see up to 40 staff at risk of redundancy.

It is understood the 10-year lease is running out on the property in Exeter but the staff, who have worked with partner advisers across the country, have been given options to go to two other offices, both of which are more than 100 miles away from Exeter.

The announcement stated that, as part of a strategic review into operational changes and services to the adviser community and customers, Lighthouse was proposing to transfer the work from the Exeter office to the Stockport and Brighton offices by the end of March 2014.

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It is not known how many staff will remain with the company and relocate as they are still in a consultation process, collectively and individually. It is understood that under terms of employment, only those with more than two years’ service will be entitled to a redundancy payment. It is not known whether this will be the statutory minimum or if Lighthouse will give extra.

However, Mr Streatfield reaffirmed previous commitments to growing the business through the hire of quality advisers and strategic acquisitions where viable.

At the end of May, he said the group had taken on 49 recruits. This included the firm’s Lighthouse IFA 500 arm, which Mr Streatfield said was looking to expand its adviser numbers by eight to 10 a month until 2015.

Response

An employee at risk of redundancy, whose name has been redacted for reasons of privacy, questioned the logic of losing support staff when there will be more advisers needing support. The staff member said: “Everyone is at risk of redundancy and I doubt few, if any, will relocate.”

Lighthouse: Key Figures

Average annualised revenue for each adviser rose 14 per cent in 2012.

Overall gross profit for 2012 was down on last year, at £55m compared to £60.4m in 2011.

Overall loss for 2012: £4.6m.

Cost of abortive delisting attempt: £500,000.