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18 Feb, 2008

Published: 11:26 Monday 18 February 2008
By: Daniel Grote, New Model News Reporter

AXA-owned Thinc has bought financial planners Watterson Wealth Management, in a move that sees the national IFA firm further expand its wealth management proposition.

The move brings £152 million of funds and 250 clients under Thinc's management, and is the latest of a number of additions the firm has made to its proposition for high-net-worth clients.

'The expansion of our successful Wealth Management division is a key focus for 2008 and this is another important strategic acquisition for Thinc,' said Thinc chief executive John Simmonds.

'Watterson Wealth Management has a great reputation and their high-quality client base will help increase our influence and impact in this important area of the market.'

He added that Thinc had 'aggressive' expansion plans and would still be on the lookout for potential new acquisitions.

The national IFA firm has been holding regular preview days for advisers interested in joining its wealth management division, and has been active in making approaches to a number of firms, as revealed by Citywire last month.

The Watterson purchase follows the high-profile acquisitions of Cardiff-based firms Cavendish and Chambers Morgan James in November last year, in a move which brought planners Julie Lord and Marlene Shalton into the Thinc fold.

Cheshire-based firm Watterson provides a fee-based wealth management service concentrating on investment, retirement and inheritance tax planning, and will bring 18 staff to Thinc.

Watterson founder George Watterson said he was 'delighted' to be joining Thinc and said he was looking forward to 'an exciting future' with the group.

'Thinc have a clear and progressive approach to managing clients' wealth, which is based around planning, service and expert advice,' he said.

'This approach was the major attraction to me, enhanced by the support and commitment the group provides to its wealth managers.'

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