Graham Coxell-led consortium buys Rowan Dartington

AIM-listed investment bank and stockbroker Astaire has offloaded struggling subsidiary Rowan Dartington to a consortium of private investors led by former Capita managing director Graham Coxell.

A newly formed company, Rowan Dartington Holdings (RDH), will acquire all issued share capital in the private client wealth manager, subject to regulatory approval, in a complicated deal due to be finalised next month, according to a statement from the firm.

Coxell will become chief executive of the business. David Burrows will remain chief operating officer and Sue Evans retains her role as director. Andrew Morris, currently managing director of Signature, a division of Rowan Dartington, will also keep his role, while David Snow joins the company as non-executive director.

To acquire the business, RDH will issue £1 million of loan notes and shares representing 30 per cent of equity share capital with no cash consideration. The Coxell-controlled consortium will own the remaining 70 per cent, including 15 per cent owned by current staff. Collectively the consortium will invest £800,000 to provide working capital.

Rowan Dartington’s financial troubles peaked last June when the business was fined £511,000 by the Financial Services Authority and had to make a provision of £1.04 million in respect of potentially irrecoverable debtor balances following the failure of a back office system.

Coxell, who previously held senior positions at both Capita and Marlborough Stirling, comments, ‘With £1 billion of client assets, Rowan Dartington has had to navigate through some significant challenges over the last few years but, despite this, due to its exceptional customer service and investment management returns, it has remained one of the most successful regional, full service stockbroking firms and a significant player in the industry.’

He adds, ‘It has been a difficult couple of years for the company, but its values have remained the same since it was established.’

Headquartered in Bristol, Rowan Dartington was founded 20 years ago and provides investment management to independent financial advisers, individuals, companies, charities and trusts.

Corporate finance advisers Novitas Partners advised on the deal. AIM-quoted Evolve Capital owns 53 per cent of Astaire.

Todd Cardy

Todd Cardy

Todd was Editor of between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital.

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