Regional stockbroker WH Ireland is on the acquisition trail after notching up record profits last year.
The company, which has a strong operation in Birmingham, made £3.2 million at the pretax level in the 12 months to November 30 - 22 per cent up on the previous year.
Turnover for the period rose by 26 per cent to £23 million and Ireland proposes a final dividend of 212p, giving a total for the year of 334p, an increase of 67 per cent.
All four of the company's businesses - investment management, corporate finance, independent financial advice and stockbroking - grew strongly.
Ireland, which has recently added offices in Leicester, Stockport and Kilmarnock to its network, said it expected to see further organic and acquisition-based growth this year.
Chief executive Laurie Beevers said: "The new year has started well with four corporate transactions and we look forward to a successful outcome for the year as a whole.
"It is our intention to continue to build the business both organically and by selective acquisition, including the addition of further client advisers to increase our market share and support our profitability."
Last year saw Ireland bring 25 companies to the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) while carrying out 32 secondary fundraisings.
In all, it raised more than £80 million for clients. In the latest deal, the Birmingham office acted as nominated advisor and broker on the placing and admission to Aim of Nasstar, a London-based internet software provider.
Nasstar raised £2.7 million and plans to use the money to finance an expansion of its activities.
Ruth Gifford, regional director at WH Ireland in Birmingham, said: "We believe that Nasstar has an excellent business model, and we look forward to seeing the group progress and grow over the years to come."