The new office will be headed by Rob Wheater who, with five other staff, joined the fast-growing company through its acquisition earlier this month of Consilium Emplyee Benefits. Wheater will manage a combined team of 10 new business and telemarketing consultants operating nationally.
The move is part of a wider strategic push by Chase Templeton to complement its acquisition strategy with an increased focus on securing organic new business. Having seen organic SME company health and employee benefit revenues rise by 19 percent year-on-year, the company believes investment in organic business growth drivers will yield positive returns.
In addition to the Bromley initiative the company is also looking to imminently recruit an additional 10 staff to handle back-office functions at its headquarters in Darwen, Lancashire. It already employs over 100 staff in Darwen and at its offices in Bridgwater Somerset, twice the number it had in 2013 when it secured the backing of Palatine to fuel its growth and support the buy and build strategy.
“The opening of a Greater London hub marks a new phase in our growth strategy,” said Chase Templeton’s Commercial Director, Richard Holden. “Whilst buy and build will remain at the core with no let-up in the pace of our acquisitions, we are putting significantly more resources and effort into identifying organic new business opportunities. This effort will be directed in particular at the SME space which is a sector we really know how to serve and serve well.”
Through its aggressive acquisition strategy and organic growth the company has expanded to protect over 110,000 lives and manage over £140m in annual premium income. Such is the pace of the company’s expansion that it is already looking to add to its Darwen offices that it moved into in November 2013.
As the mortgage broker of choice for Coldwell Banker clients, John Charcol will offer mortgage advice to its high net worth (HNW) clients seeking to purchase residential property in the UK, many of whom often have complex circumstances. Peter Tsouroulla, a specialist HNW adviser at John Charcol, will lead the team handling referred cases, which is anticipated to increase significantly as Coldwell Banker grows its UK footprint through its franchise network.
The deal with John Charcol follows an announcement in September 2015 by Coldwell Banker Real Estate about the launch of its new master franchise agreement for the UK. This will see Coldwell Banker Great Britain, led by Managing Director Vic Pegna, initially grow the Coldwell Banker business in London with plans to expand into 50 branches across the rest of England, Wales and Scotland.
Simon Knight, CEO of John Charcol said: "This is a brilliant deal for John Charcol and a perfect fit with a client base which closely matches our own profile and expertise for servicing HNW clients. This is the first in a series of exciting announcements about our plans to significantly grow the John Charcol business over the coming years."
Vic Pegna, Managing Director Coldwell Banker Great Britain said: "In John Charcol we have secured the ideal partner to support our expansion plans in the UK. It a great brand with a reputation for delivering high quality advice and first class customer service which is exactly what our clients demand."
Palatine backed the management buyout of John Charcol in March 2015.
Beth Houghton has been made Partner having played an instrumental role in achieving positive exits for family leisure business Playnation, as well as the sale of financial education provider Wealth at Work to Equistone in a £50m buyout. Beth, who has been with the firm for almost nine years, has spearheaded Palatine’s award-winning Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies and has played a big part in improving the firm’s operational capabilities.
Palatine has also promoted James Winterbottom and Andy Strickland to Investment Director. James has been with the firm for seven years and has been involved in several transactions during his time including Character World, WHP and Vernacare. He currently sits on the boards of both Character World and WHP.
Andy joined the firm more than two years ago to support Palatine’s London-based investment team. He was involved in the £14m buyout of Wren Sterling (formerly Towergate) and John Charcol, as well as leading the MBO of seismic consultancy firm EPI Group. Andy is on the boards of both Wren Sterling and John Charcol.
Palatine, which has offices in Manchester and London, typically invests between £10m and £30m in entrepreneurs and management teams across the UK. In the last 12 months alone, the firm has completed four new transactions, realised three positive exits and closed its Fund III at a hard cap of £220m.
Gary Tipper, Managing Partner at Palatine Private Equity, said: "These promotions are part of our continued progression as a business and demonstrate our on-going commitment to developing talent within the firm. The past 12 months have been exceptional for Palatine, both in terms of deal completions and successful exits, so it’s a great time to be commending the hard work of our team."