James Walton, intermediary sales manager at Alliance & Leicester, is to leave the lender after 10 years to form his own mortgage brokerage.Walton, who has worked as a broker previously, will leave A&L in January, along with Andrew Sears, a senior business development manager at A&L. Walton’s new business – James Lea Financial Services – will be based in Uxbridge in west London, and will focus on mortgage and protection products. Walton will open the business in January with a business partner who has also worked in the industry and has investment experience. It is not yet known where Sears is moving to but Walton says A&L has already found his replacement. Walton says: “I will be leaving A&L next January to set up a brokerage. I have a good relationship with Mehrdad Yousefi, head of intermediary mortgages at A&L, which will continue.” Andy Wilgoss, managing director at Square Mile Mortgages, says: “We have recently increased the business we place with A&L as a result of its competitive pricing. But if A&L wants to fully embrace the London broker market it must enhance its intermediary offerings.” Sally Lauder, spokeswoman at A&L says: “We have a good relationship with our employees and wish James every success for the future.” Lauder was unable to comment on who Walton’s or Sear’s replacements will be.