CompaniesNov 23 2015

New IFA match-maker enters market

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New IFA match-maker enters market

Ex-Bellpenny director Dawn Pearce-Herzberg has told FTAdviser her new venture will provide the ‘missing link’ in the IFA acquisition market and drive more deals through to successful completion.

Her new business, called Vines Row, aims to reinvent the existing ‘match-making’ model currently being offered to IFA vendors and acquirers.

Ms Pearce-Herzberg, managing director of Vines Row, said: “I’ve been involved in more than 25 IFA transactions over the past three years and this has given me a unique, birds-eye view of the deal process from both vendor and acquirer perspectives.

“Introducers fulfil an important role in bringing interested buyers and sellers together but there has always seemed to me to be a missing link in the existing model.

“I believe the initial match-making element should be just a starting point. It is after that the really hard work should begin and I’m determined that Vines Row will add value at every stage of the process, all the way through to deal completion.

“In my experience far too many deals break down for reasons other than price. I see Vines Row’s role as being the oil in the transaction engine. We will save both buyers and sellers time, money and hassle but, ultimately, our job is all about getting more deals across the finish line.”

Vines Row’s services includes a purpose built data room which will enable both vendor and acquirer to track the progress of the transaction online, in real-time, and will also facilitate a secure, well-managed due diligence process.

The tendering system should enable sellers to invite prospective acquirers to bid for their company, Ms Pearce-Herzberg added.

She said Vines Row is targeting IFA buyers as well as vendors.

It will offer acquirers a search facility which will help identify suitable opportunities, tailored to their individual criteria, Ms Pearce-Herzberg said.

Commenting on the launch of Vines Row, Dan Russell, managing director of Verbatim Asset Management, said: “For me the big surprise is that no one is already out there providing this type of true end-to-end advisory service to the IFA acquisition market.

“Getting two interested parties to the negotiating table is often the easy bit. After that, deals can unravel for any number of reasons.”

The launch of Vines Row comes just weeks after Bellpenny put 51 jobs up for consultation, with potential redundancies centered around the operations team.

The two offices affected are Reading and Birmingham, the former being Bellpenny’s head office where the largest number of employees are based and therefore the majority of redundancies are expected.

The cuts came after the appointment of Nigel Stockton, the former managing director of Birmingham Midshires, as chief executive of Bellpenny.