Smith & Williamson agrees partial transfer of Dolfin assets

14 July 2021 2 min. read

Administrators from Smith & Williamson have agreed terms for the transfer of some of Dolfin Financial’s client agreements to Britannia Global Markets. The administrators will now continue their search for a buyer of Dolfin’s remaining assets.

Adam Stephens, Partner at Smith & Williamson, commented, “Since our appointment as Joint Special Administrators we have been working to finalise the terms of a transfer of certain client agreements as quickly as possible to a new provider. The deal agreed with Britannia provides continuity for certain clients, as Dolfin’s relationship managers will transfer to Britannia along with the relevant clients’ accounts.” 

Stephens and fellow Joint Administrator Kevin Ley were appointed in early June. At the time of its collapse, Dolfin had £120 million of client money and £1.3 billion of custody assets on its books.

Smith & Williamson to oversee Dolfin Financial administration

Dolfin Financial was a wealth management firm based in the UK, with around 500 clients and 30 staff. Until March 2021, it provided discretionary, advisory and execution-only services to retail and professional clients on a range of investment securities. However, the Financial Conduct Association forced the wealth manager to cease its activity citing "a number of serious concerns around the way that Dolfin operates its business." The concerns reportedly centred on the way that Dolfin operated its business, including the firm's Tier 1 investor visa business activities and financial crime controls.

The deal agreed with Britannia Global Markets by the Smith & Williamson team will see approximately 280 clients custodied directly from Dolfin. Meanwhile, a significant number of the Dolfin relationship management, execution and discretionary investment management teams moving to Britannia to ensure continuity of service and investment strategies for clients. Britannia is a full-service broker and dealer of securities, commodities, and derivative financial products, headquartered in the City of London. 

The Joint Special Administrators were advised by solicitors DWF. The key team there comprised James Moore , Natasha Atkinson in finance and restructuring, and Robbie Constance and Richard Burger in financial services regulatory services.

Ley added, “Dolfin clients are being individually notified about the transfer. The Joint Special Administrators will also be focussing further on alternative arrangements for those clients who are not transferring to Britannia.”