One of Birmingham’s oldest stockbrokers – which has been a fixture of the city for nearly 120 years – has collapsed after struggling to pay its debts.
Fyshe Horton Finney, whose roots in Birmingham date back to 1896, has entered voluntary administration, the Financial Services Authority has confirmed.
Sources said the firm had been financially troubled for some time. Its most recent accounts showed losses of £565,701 for the year to June 2011.
In January chief executive Hardeep Tamana, who had been at the helm for nearly nine years, left while director Clive Duckitt and regional director Sue Grieson, who oversaw the bulk of the firm’s activities in the north, relinquished their seats on the board of directors.
The regional stockbroker, which has 15 offices dotted across the country, issued a statement citing “a difference in opinion” which had resulted in delays in plans to develop and grow the business.
The statement said: “Significant new funding has been secured to carry through our plans to transition Fyshe Horton Finney from a provider of mainly traditional stockbroking services to a business offering comprehensive and holistic wealth management and financial planning services.
“We have been in close talks with the FSA and the regulator is fully aware of our plans. We expect to emerge from administration a stronger, healthier and better business than ever before.
“In the meantime I would like to reassure our clients that their assets are 100 per cent secure. We will keep clients fully up to date with the situation and will be in contact with them directly very soon.” The FSA register states the firm is ‘closed to regulated business.”
Reports in the industry press have claimed Fyshe had combined losses totalling £3.4 million since 2009 on the back of rocketing operating costs. The company scaled back its Leeds arm in June 2011, refocusing around its Midland headquarters.
The FSA said in a statement: “The Financial Services Authority has confirmed that Fyshe Horton Finney Stockbrokers has entered the Special Administration Regime on March 20, 2013. Paul Boyle and David Clements at Harrisons Business Recovery & Insolvency (London) Limited have been appointed joint special administrators.
“FHF is a small investment firm offering discretionary, advisory and execution only business. There are 15 regional offices.
“The firm placed itself into special administration, primarily on the ground that it is, or is likely to become, unable to pay its debts. If clients have any concerns they should contact the special administrators in the first instance.”
A source said: “In the good old days, it was one of the largest firms of its kind in Birmingham. It was very much a Birmingham firm and the city was its headquarters.”
In the post-war period Fyshe Horton Finney was viewed as one of the most prominent stockbrokers in Birmingham, bringing more companies to the Birmingham Stock Exchange during the 1940s and 50s than any other firm.
In the past decade the firm had been on the expansion trail, opening offices around the country.
But the source said: “The can blame all sorts of things but they ended up with the wrong client base.”