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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a560505

Morgan Stanley sells Quilter to Bridgepoint

by Dylan Lobo on Jan 24, 2012 at 09:06

Morgan Stanley sells Quilter to Bridgepoint

Quilter-owner Morgan Stanley Smith Barney has agreed to sell the business to private equity firm Bridgepoint, in partnership with the Quilter management team. 

The terms of the transaction, planned to be completed in the first quarter of 2012, were not disclosed although reports suggest it was around the £170 million mark.  

The Quilter management team behind the deal includes chief executive Martin Baines, managing director and former Wealth Manager cover star Stephen Vakil and chief financial officer Terry Wade.   

Vakil would not disclose the split in equity between Bridgepoint and Quilter but said enough equity would be handed out to ensure key people were incentivised to remain with the business.

Quilter chief executive Martin Baines said: 'This is an extremely exciting move for us, not least because Bridgepoint is very enthusiastic about our management team and our strategy for the firm.  It is a tried and tested team that has been in place for many years in spite of changes of ownership.

He added: 'The Quilter team has long maintained its belief in the strength of the Quilter brand, and now, as an independent entity, we will have even more flexibility in how we operate. This is a vital attribute in a fast changing market, when the opportunities to meet the evolving needs of our clients and intermediaries call for greater agility and entrepreneurial thinking.

'We already have developments in efficiency, innovation and effectiveness in the pipeline, which we are much looking forward to announcing in the coming months.'

Quilter, which can trace its ancestry back to 1777,  has approximately £7.6 billion in assets under management with its clients comprising private clients, charities and trusts, pension funds, corporate bodies and life companies. It employs approximately 350 staff based in 13 locations throughout the UK, Jersey and Ireland.

Ownership has changed hands a number of times since the 1980s, with Commercial Union and Citigroup also among those which have controlled the business.   

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