The administrator for collapsed London wealth firm Dolfin Financial has agreed terms to transfer just under 300 clients to Britannia Global Markets.
The news comes after Smith & Williamson was appointed special administrator at the end of June to manage the fallout from the collapse of the business, which had around £1.4bn worth of assets on its books.
Approximately 280 clients custodied directly at Dolfin are scheduled to transfer to Britannia, a full-service broker also headquartered in London.
The deal will also see a significant number of the Dolfin relationship management, execution and discretionary investment management teams moving to Britannia to ensure continuity of service and investment strategies for clients.
At the date of S&W’s appointment Dolfin employed around 30 staff who oversaw approximately 500 clients. It is not clear at this stage what measures have been put in place for the outstanding 220 clients who will not be transferred to Britannia Global.
S&W partner and joint special administrator Adam Stephens said: ‘Since our appointment we have been working to finalise the terms of a transfer of certain client agreements as quickly as possible to a new provider.
‘The deal agreed with Britannia provides continuity for certain clients, as Dolfin’s relationship managers will transfer to Britannia along with the relevant clients’ accounts.’
Fellow S&W partner Kevin Ley added: ‘Dolfin clients are being individually notified about the transfer. The joint special administrators will also be focussing further on alternative arrangements for those clients who are not transferring to Britannia.’
A long-running saga
Dolfin’s troubles began in late 2019, when it faced restrictions on its Tier One visa offering, after the FCA told it to stop selling bonds in companies its directors had an interest in, Citywire Wealth Manager previously revealed. Shortly after this, Dolfin’s CEO Denis Nagy left the firm.
Then, in March, the FCA banned Dolfin from carrying out any regulated activity following a skilled person Section 166 review. The FCA’s investigation looked at the firm’s financial crimes controls.
Smith & Williamson said Dolfin then sought an orderly wind down of the business, and, with the FCA’s agreement, a transfer of its assets to another provider.
However, ‘due to a reassessment of the company’s financial position in the light of progress with its wind down plan’, Dolfin’s board agreed to place the business into special administration in early June.