80 Prestbury ARs transfer to Personal Touch

Around 80 Prestbury appointed representatives have transferred to rival network Personal Touch Financial Services today.

The move comes just a couple of weeks after Prestbury’s managing director Lee Birkett successfully fought off an attempt by minority shareholders to oust him and his mum Lynne, the company’s finance director.

At the time Birkett told Mortgage Strategy: “I’m pleased to be able to draw a line under all this. Now I want to get on with the job in hand.”

Personal Touch says today’s move is good news for the 80 ARs who are made up of some 140 business writers and is a sign that the network is now actively looking to grow.

Dev Malle, group sales director at Personal Touch, says: “This is good news for Prestbury’s advisers both in the short term and long term.

“Personal Touch has an excellent track record, is financially strong, and is delivering the same proposition to its members that it did on Mortgage Day.”

One AR of Prestbury told Mortgage Strategy that this is the best outcome for all of the remaining ARs, many of whom are still owed thousands of pounds by Prestbury in unpaid commission payments.

The AR says: “We were concerned about potentially losing our whole pipeline so this is the best outcome going forward as it protects our adviser base and continuity.

“It’s just a shame another network has fallen victim to the credit crunch.”

Birkett was unavailable for comment. The AIM listed firm has yet to announce the transfer on the London Stock Exchange.