Square Mile to leave Hamptons and become Cobalt Capital AR

City broker Square Mile Mortgage Finance is to part company with principal Hamptons International Mortgages and switch its allegiance to Cobalt Capital – a move that has sent shockwaves across the London broker market.

Square Mile, the reigning Mortgage Strategy Small Broker of the Year, will become an appointed representative of the new Cobalt group, arguably London’s largest independent broker following its merger with Chelsea Mortgage Management earlier this year. The move gives the Cobalt group projected annual mortgage lending in excess of 1bn.

Square Mile had been in negotiations with Hamptons about terminating its AR relationship for the past two months but its decision to become an AR of Cobalt has shocked pundits. The divorce from Hamptons will also see Duffy and his family associates selling their 33% stake in Square Mile. Though yet to be decided, sources say that the shareholding is likely to be bought by Square Mile management including managing director Andy Willgoss and sales director Steve Smith.

Julian Ingall, partner at Cobalt Capital, says: “This is another huge step forward for Cobalt and we are delighted to be joining forces with a company as prestigious as Square Mile.

“Wilgoss and Smith are well known and respected and their forward thinking makes this a natural partnership. The power generated by two successful brands joining forces will enable us to benefit from even more buying power with lenders, and shows we are serious about taking Cobalt forward.”

Wilgoss says: “This alliance is a natural fit between two strong brands. To complete our separation from Hamptons, we are relocating to prestigious new offices in the Square Mile.”

Duffy says: “This move has not come as a surprise. Andy and Steve are a formidable team and want to take the company in a new direction. I wish them success.”