Agenda: That elusive crock of gold

Tony Cornell

In that hectic period of 2007/8 - prior to the changes in capital gains tax - more than £2bn changed hands, which is an enormous amount of money for a comparatively small sector. Some of the consolidators have been acquired - Country Mutual, Smart and Cook and Layton Blackham - and now there are five major players left:
• Towergate/CCV, backed by loan finance from Lloyds TSB;
• Oval, backed by private equity firm Caledonia;
• Jelf, AIM listed but now backed by Private Equity company, Capital Z;

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