DBS moves from AIM to full listing

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The Independent Online
DBS Management, a network for independent financial advisers, is set to become the first AIM-listed company to seek a full stock-market listing.

The company, which is based in Huddersfield, is currently capitalised at about pounds 32m and is seeking a listing before the end of September.

Ken Davy, the company's chairman, who still owns 25 per cent of DBS shares, said: "It has always been our intention to seek a full listing. I am very pleased that we are able to do it ahead of schedule because we have achieved our targets earlier than we originally planned."

DBS's decision to float comes barely a year after its AIM quotation, in which the firm was initially valued at pounds 10.8m.

The company was founded by Mr Davy in the 1970s, expanding from its function as an independent adviser into a network in the 1980s. Under the network arrangement, an IFA joins DBS and pays the company a proportion of its commission income.

In return, DBS handles the burden of compliance and regulation, offers training to IFAs and uses a head office research team to identify suitable products for its members to sell to their clients. The network also negotiates higher commission rates for its members.

The network grew to about 700 member firms by the early 1990s. Since the formation of the Personal Investment Authority in 1994 and the implementation of tighter regulation, DBS has grown to some 1,600 member firms.

The network now places pounds 800m worth of business with product providers and arranges pounds 1bn in mortgages each year, earning its members about pounds 77m in commission income.

DBS's move from AIM to a full listing is the first for a fully trading company. SkyePharma, the AIM-traded drug developer, moved onto the main market following a reverse takeover of Jago, the Swiss drugs firm.