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Viking's IRG buys Equity and talks about expansion

Stephen Rogers' ownership of Equity Investment Advisers has been short, sweet and profitable.

Wednesday, May 14th 2008, 5:53AM
On Friday Dorchester (DPC) announced it had sold the advisory business to Rogers, a former Spicers adviser, for $1.3 million.

Yesterday it was revealed that Rogers had already on-sold it to NZAX-listed Viking Capital for a profit.

The story is fascinating as Viking is run by Dorchester founder and its former managing director Brent King. Viking owns a good chunk of Dorchester and King has been publicly sniping at Dorchester for some months and been highly critical of out-going DPC chief executive Andrew Walker.

While at the same time selling down its DPC stake at a loss.

There is clearly no love lost between the Dorchester/Walker camp and Viking/King.

Indeed in his announcement yesterday King said the deal "has been very good for Stephen Rogers as he has been able to make a profit after owning the companies for the weekend."

King says Viking Capital formally expressed interest in buying the business after DPC made its intentions to sell the business public.

"However, for reasons unknown, Viking Capital was excluded from the sale process at an early stage, which we could not understand," King says.

While it looks like Rogers was acting as a front man for Viking that isn't the case.

When King found out Rogers was buying the business, he made an offer.

King says Viking's subsidiary, Investment Research Group (IRG), was buying Equity Investment Advisers.

He says IRG plans to build its advisory business and there is "potential for other branches around the country as opportunities allow."

"We are in discussion with a number of parties interested in joining us and are available to chat to any adviser who wishes to make a change to their current arrangement whether it is change of allegiance or outright sale of their business."

He says IRG, which is morphing from a research house to an advisory business, "is one of the few participants without legacy issues." "Advisers, who are looking at their future, are considering who they should be aligned to, to maximise value for their clients and themselves. The whole industry is in a state of change, Viking/IRG/Equity will be right for some advisers and not for others.

"We have the objective of being a significant participant in the financial advisory industry."

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