A struggling London-based wealth management firm that held £ 120million in client money and £ 1.3bn in custodial assets has come under special administration.

Smith & Williamson was appointed special administrator of Dolfin Financial (UK) yesterday (June 30), following previous FCA restrictions on the company.

At the time of its bankruptcy, Dolfin, which provided custody services and was an investment manager, had around 500 clients and employed 30 people.

The company’s troubles began in late 2019, when it faced restrictions on its Tier 1 visa offer, after the FCA asked it to stop selling bonds in companies in which its directors had a position. interest, Citywire Wealth Manager previously revealed. Shortly after, Dolfin CEO Denis Nagy left the company.

Then, in March, the FCA banned Dolfin from carrying out any regulated activity following a review by a qualified person under section 166. The FCA investigation looked into the controls of corporate financial crimes.

Smith & Williamson said Dolfin then requested an orderly liquidation of the business and, with FCA’s consent, a transfer of its assets to another supplier.

However, “due to a reassessment of the financial situation of the company in the light of the progress of its liquidation plan”, the board of directors of Dolfin agreed to place the company under special administration at the beginning of June. .

Adam Stephens, joint special administrator of Dolfin and the partner of Smith & Williamson, said he was focusing on finding a buyer for the transfer of Dolfin’s assets.

“The priority of the Joint Special Administrators is to identify, protect and, in a timely manner, return client money and deposit assets to clients in accordance with their interests,” Stephens said.

“The joint special administrators continue to have in-depth discussions with the prospective acquirer with a view to finalizing the terms of a possible transfer.”

Kevin Ley, Joint Special Administrator of Dolfin and Director of Smith & Williamson, said: “We recognize that the current circumstances will naturally cause some uncertainty for customers and we thank them in advance for their patience and understanding as we work as quickly as possible to check the financial situation of the company.

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