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Briggs sells up

Phil Briggs sells his firm Equity Research to a listed corporate.

Wednesday, July 1st 1998, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister

Phil Briggs has sold his financial planning and stockbroking business Equity Research Ltd (ERL) to listed financial services company Dorchester Pacific for more than $2.5 million.
Briggs says the sale is predicated around the desire to expand which itself requires greater resources than what are currently available to ERL.
Part of this expansion involves a move into the funds management business, he says.
Briggs established a fund earlier this year, but hasn't started promoting it to the public.

ERL would not get involved in the master trust business.
Dorchester operates in the financial services industry and offers debenture products. Earlier this week it bought Palmerston North vehicle finance broker Automotive Finance Ltd.
Managing director Brent King says the ERL acquisition, "enables us to widen our range of financial services, rather than being dependent mainly on the lending activities of Dorchester Finance and its subsidiaries."
"The acquisition was a further step in the company's strategic growth path," he says. "There is a clear trend overseas for financial services companies to enter the advisory and funds management business, and Dorchester could see worthwhile growth opportunities in this area."
Briggs, who was the sole ERL shareholder, will be paid a combination of Dorchester shares, unsecured notes and cash for the business.
He will stay on as managing director for at least two years.
He says ERL will continue to be run as a separate organisation making independent and objective investment recommendations.
Dorchester debentures are already the second biggest product recommended by ERL, he says. "The potential to write significantly more business (for them) is limited."
ERL was formed in 1984, has 10 staff and advises more than 4000 clients. It is well known for its publication New Zealand Investors' Monthly.
This is the second major move by corporates into the financial planning industry in the past couple of months. Earlier Sovereign announced it had bought Reeves Moses.
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