UK group conducting 'thorough' Audit of inter-alliance broker businesses
UK intermediary firm Millfield is conducting a review into the future of Inter-Alliance International and Inter-Alliance WorldNet. This follows the takeover of Inter-Alliance by Millfield last year and the review will consider all options for the offshore broker firm and network.
But Brian Cosgrave, chief executive of Inter-Alliance International and Inter-Alliance WorldNet, argued that even if Millfield decided to sell the offshore intermediary firm and network, they are profitable as standalone businesses.
Paul Tebbutt, chief executive of Millfield, said: "We are carrying out a thorough review of the entire offshore business. We will not make any decisions about the future of Inter-Alliance International until we understand its two-year plans and future prospects for delivering profits. We only want to be operating in regulated jurisdictions."
Millfield has already had one unsuccessful attempt at entering the offshore market. In 2002, it established a private client operation in Guernsey. But, after recruiting 11 private client managers, Millfield withdrew in September 2003.
"Over the past year, we have realised we can serve expatriates as easily from the UK when they return home intermittently as we can through private client managers around the world," said Brian Beeston, Millfield's business development manager, in September 2003.
Tebbutt attributed the closure of the Guernsey operation to entering the international market "too early".
Cosgrave, however, is confident about future prospects for the offshore firm and network. "We have been operating as a separate offshore business and have not been using resources from the parent company. We have been building the offshore business successfully over the past couple of years without being a drain on the PLC. The only involvement is that the parent company has representation on our board of directors.
"In 2004, turnover for Inter-Alliance International and Inter-Alliance WorldNet increased by 96% to £9.2m. This followed a growth in turnover of 81% in 2003. We expect to have made profits of £300,000 in 2004."
He added that there has been a particular upturn in the turnover of the network Inter-Alliance Worldnet, especially since the Bahrain brokerage was added last year. It now accounts for 53% of the offshore group's revenues compared with 25% in the first half of 2003. In total, Inter-Alliance International and Inter-Alliance WorldNet have around 100 consultants.
Cosgrave said Inter-Alliance International will announce the appointment of two business development directors and an IT operations director in February. In a further attempt to continue its growth, Cosgrave said it will add a number of support services during 2005. These will include "enhanced marketing support, online support and the introduction of web-enabled training".
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