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02:37 on Thursday
17 June 2004

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Financial services firm launches expansion strategy 


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Peterborough-based financial services company Elite Strategies plc has launched an aggressive expansion drive with an acquisition that quadruples the number of its professional advisers and creates an enlarged group with seven offices.

Through its acquisition of Croesus Financial Services Ltd, Elite now has 22 financial advisers with offices in Peterborough, Bourn (Cambridge), Bedford, Kettering, Oundle, Ramsey and Chelmsford.

Jonathan Fry, 39, previously chief executive of Croesus, becomes chief executive of the enlarged group, succeeding Elite founder David Slater, who remains a board director.

Elite’s non-executive chairman Sir Brian Mawhinney MP said: “With the acquisition of Croesus we have immediately grown our sales force fourfold. This represents the first step in the implementation of our strategy for expansion and I am sure that the enlarged group gives us a firm foundation on which to grow, both organically and by further acquisitions.”

Jonathan Fry added: “Discussions are already taking place with various leading financial product providers interested in financing our acquisition strategy and a number of carefully selected independent financial adviser firms are currently being targeted.”

Gloria Milne, chief executive of Greater Peterborough Investment Agency, commented: “Elite’s expansion strategy contributes to Peterborough’s reputation as a dynamic business centre and I look forward to news of further acquisitions.”

David Slater formed Elite Strategies in 1994 following the sale of The Slater Group Plc, which he founded in 1972. A trading subsidiary, ESP Investments and Pensions Ltd, was formed in 1995 and the parent company was brought to the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange in May 2001.

Jonathan Fry, together with Paul Kingston and Lee Newbold, formed Croesus Financial Services in March 2002. All three had previously worked together at IFG Financial Services Ltd, one of the UK’s largest independent financial adviser firms.

During his five years as managing director at IFG Jonathan managed an expansion strategy that turned a trading loss on a £1 million turnover into profits of over £4 million on turnover of more than £20 million.

The acquisition of Croesus means ESP Investments and Pensions now has 22 independent advisers, eight of whom are qualified to offer specialist pensions advice. It provides financial services advice to both listed and privately owned companies and their employees and to wealthy individuals.

June 2003

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