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More broker rationalisation

Wellington-based FRP Securities is the latest broking business to be gobbled up.

Tuesday, February 13th 2001, 10:06PM

by Philip Macalister

Listed financial services business Dorchester Pacific has further expanded its operations with the acquisition, on Monday, of FRP Securities’ dealing operations.

In the past two years Dorchester has acquired financial planning firm Equity (formerly Phil Brigg’s Equity Research), Invincible Life and Direct Broking. The latest acquisition will be combined under the Direct banner.

FRP Securities operates an investment banking business, headed by Bill Birnie, and a broking business run by Chris Lambert and David Speight.

FRP, which is a corporate member of the Stock Exchange, will keep its investment banking business, while Direct acquires the broking business.

"(Direct) have bought the operations of FRP Securities but not the (NZSE) corporate membership," Lambert says.

He says FRP is probably the second biggest broker in the fixed interest market in New Zealand, plus it has a valuable client base.

He says the fixed interest business will complement Direct Broking’s existing online and retail equity trading services and provide the necessary foundation to offer portfolio management and investment advice to clients.

"We needed to look forward to where we need to go," he says. The deal will help the company build a web presence and give it access to the exchange’s Faster trading system.

"We needed to get into a wider business (other than fixed interest)," he says.

Dorchester’s managing director Brent King says the move was in line with the company’s strategy to grow its financial services operations through acquisition.

"The opportunity to attract two experienced dealers with strong management and advisory skills will assist us to consolidate the group’s various equity and advisory services to create a fully integrated financial services business," he says.

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