Ex-Egg boss buys MoneyQuest

MoneyQuest has been snap-ped up for an undisclosed sum by a consortium led by former Egg chief executive officer Paul Gratton.

The deal sees Steve and Derek Pollard, two of the broker’s co-founders, quit the business and a new management team appointed.

Steve has moved to Australia and is focussed on building a Perth-based brokerage.

Derek has opted for a short sabbatical before returning to Money-Quest in a business development role alongside co-founder Paul Rey-nolds, who will continue as the firm’s managing director.

Gratton, who has taken on the role of executive chairman, was a driving force behind mortgageforce and its subsequent sale to West Bromwich in 2005.

He also holds non-executive positions at a number of firms including edeus.

The change of ownership means plans for MoneyQuest to become an appointed representative of Legal & General have been put on hold.

Gratton says: “MoneyQuest’s focus will continue to be on pro- viding expert financial advice and assistance online as well as over the telephone.

“Our experience is that in these uncertain times, the reassurance and expertise offered by good brokers is in great demand.”

He adds: “By combining our skills, we can ensure we provide the best services for customers.”

Gratton plans to grow the business, including helping lenders to shrink their loan books.

He has ruled out turning MoneyQuest into a franchise operation like mortgageforce, preferring to stay close to its telesales and internet roots.

But he says there may be opportunities to partner other brokers to cater for clients who still want face-to-face advice.

He says: “We want to offer advice with a capital A and with 85% of ABC1 individuals having access to 1MB broadband or faster, the opp-ortunity is there to forge emotional bonds through technology.

“But there will still be occasions when clients want face-to-face meetings on their sofas.”

Several members of Gratton’s new management team were also involved with the launch of First Direct and Egg.

They include chief operating officer Simon Jackson, marketing and strategy director Andy Thompson, finance director Tony Lynch and sales director Darren Fox.