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LSL buys Home of Choice for £1.5m

LSL Property Services has confirmed today that it has bought the assets of Home of Choice for £1.5m.

In an announcement on the London Stock Exchange today it says: “The business is being acquired from administrators and is not expected to have a material impact on the group’s earnings line in 2010.

“HoC is a fast growing multi-tied specialist mortgage network provider to approximately 500 self employed mortgage advisers with extensive financial services expertise and knowledge of the mortgage market.”

LSL Property Services owns the UK’s largest residential surveying operation and owns the UK’s second largest estate agency network, having recently acquired the Halifax estate agency operation. In 2009, LSL Property Services reported pre tax profits of £28.3m.

Simon Embley, CEO of LSL Property Services, says: “Home of Choice is an acknowledged leader in its field and I look forward to working in partnership to build on the solid foundations of this high quality business.

“Strategically, this acquisition will strengthen our relationships with key lending clients, thereby providing a significant opportunity to leverage our financial services assets across the group.

“This acquisition realistically makes us one of the leading mortgage distributers in the UK.” 

Gerry O’Brien, CEO of Home of Choice, says: “I am delighted that we have attracted the investment of LSL Property Services one of the best known and respected businesses in the UK residential market.  

“LSL is a financially secure parent and its strong balance sheet gives us the investment backing to further grow the business. 

“My fellow directors and I set out five years ago on a journey to build  the number one business network for advisers.

“The feedback I have received already from our adviser network has been overwhelmingly positive – like me they are excited about the new opportunities afforded by a new parent company to continue to grow and develop a high quality and robust network.” 

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  • Almost EXHOC AR 10th May 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Perhaps mr G O’B should take the lead from his kin in parliment. G B’s head is on the plate and so should his be. It wouldnt surprise me if this was the 5 year plan all along.

  • Dionysius 8th May 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks goodness that mortgage strategy has kept us all in the loop. They have provided us with far more information than the Directors of HOC. For instance they give a direct quote from LSC via the stock exchange as follows “The business is being acquired from administrators”. This is in direct opposite to statement made by Gerry O Brien who has stated quite vociferously that HOC is not in administration. The trading status of the company is not a minor one has it has a direct bearing on the contracts signed by AR’s and HOC. Again like other contributors to this thread it is disappointing to note that no funds have been forthcoming into AR’s accounts as promised by Gerry O Brien. As stated in a previous posting I am appalled by the inept and amateuristic way the board of HOC has dealt with this whole matter. From research it is clear LSC are an entirely different operation and were I on their board I would keep Gerry O Brien and Richard Coulson well away from any fiscal or management responsibility and let them get on with what they are best at Sales “tips” and recruiting they are not fit for any other duties.

  • Tony Ward 8th May 2010 at 10:57 am

    Discredited Scottish leader….lack of clarity as to who now holds the reins….a model that clearly doesn’t work….finances in the mire….

    Ring any bells?!?!

    …and GB is awfully close to GO’B!

  • David Whittaker 8th May 2010 at 9:47 am

    But of course HOC is in Administration so Mr O’Brien is CEO of what precisely ? Given the stress his ARS have had to endure, the failure to pay money owed and the block on writing business for 2 weeks, his new employers need to put together a compensation package for the ARs as well as offering guarantees over flexibilty of contract in order to regain goodwill of those who seem to have been very poorly treated these last weeks. Presumably HOC will phoenix under a similar name but Mr O’Brien shouldn’t assume that his appointment as CEO of NEWCO is a matter for 3 cheers with all his ARs.

  • AR of HOC after listening to Gerry O'Brian at road 8th May 2010 at 8:54 am

    I am a bit annoyed !
    With the size of the problem and the significance of the roadshow,i wish that I was more settled about my future after the event.Unfortunately I am as confused as ever after the evert. The over-riding factor was th G’OB had clearly not done his homework. I think that we all know that it was going to be a tricky Q&A experience for G’OB and he just did not know the answers to the questions. It is ok not to know the answers but why bring that lack of knowledge on the road with you and try and do the politics thing that we normally get. Personally feel that Gerry was not particularly sincere, and yes it was said on numerous occasions that it should not have happened, and being sorry for all concerned including our families, that’s all very well but the content of his roadshow was almost as empty.
    I have 3 questions.

    1.If I don’t sign the new documents will I get the commission that my family and I are due?

    2.If I don’t sign the new documents am I free to go anwhere that I please,with no liability or clawback attached to me ?

    3.Is there any finacial insentive for us to join LSL?

    The mercenary that I have become since HOC have turned my world on it’s head tells me to make sure that I cover all my bases this time and get the absolute best deal for my family and me this time and not to cut myself short for the benefit of signing a document which locks me out of any external choices, as desperate as I am I will not allow a gun to be held at my head !

  • Well not a bad result 8th May 2010 at 1:15 am

    well it could have been worse at least you now have a backer and can write business and it would appear you will get your lost bacs payments at least although not sure about your pipeline yet to pay???…could have been worse …why? because you may have lost all…..shame you still have Gerry and Richard to contend with though….what does Richard say…”crack on son”!!!

  • stephen 7th May 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Eddie Tweedie First Choice Financs Scotland

    The world is all against you my friend nothing will make you happy I bet you run the most perfect of firms were nothing has gone wrong and you never herd a single word at your meeting today…..

    Change network sure the grass is greener else were

  • Leon jones 7th May 2010 at 9:09 pm

    I am curious about this we all know that estate agents are currently press ganging potential clients into seeing there own mortgage brokers in branch so where will this leave estate agents by providing a sole called idependent service in laymans terms? Very bizzare how brokers are quick enough to jump on lenders backs when it comes to dual pricing or direct sales but when estate agents buy mortgage networks everyone thinks it’s great well let me tell you if the Fsa allows this to continue there will be no such thing as idependent advised services your either going to a bank for your mortgage or getting press ganged on sale from the estate agents the rest of the truly independent agents will have te non standard business that’s left which we all know most cannot be placed.

  • HOC AR 7th May 2010 at 7:46 pm

    They are taking on the liabilities of the clawbacks, brokers pipeline & staff, but not the bank’s liabilies.

    Well this is to my knowledge anyway

  • Mark Graves 7th May 2010 at 7:40 pm

    LSL will not want their reputation damaged in anyway. So will want to make sure all contractual commission is paid including Eddies.

  • jim 7th May 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Are LSL taking on the substantial liabilities too?

  • Eddie Tweedie First Choice Financs Scotland HOC AR 7th May 2010 at 7:04 pm

    ‘Well done to all at HOC’ !!!! well done for what? Owing us thousands of pounds, causing all sorts of grief with our pipeline, stopping us writing business for 2 weeks !! Am I missing something ??
    Again Mr O’Brien where is the money you promised to have in my bank account by 1600hrs today as witnessed by about 50 brokers in Glasgow.

  • Stephen 7th May 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Great news!!!! A few beers this weekend then back to what we do Monday

    well done to all a HOC

  • HOC AR 7th May 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Nice 1. Here is to the future!

  • Janice 7th May 2010 at 6:43 pm

    We are coincidentally moving office. On clearing out the kitchen cupboard, it prompted the question “What’s going to happen to these “Home of Choice” mugs?!