Birchams' investment practice gets the chop

Westminster firm Bircham Dyson Bell has axed its investment management department, citing changes in investment and regulatory environments as the reason for its closure

The investment arm currently employs four investment managers and three support staff. Staff are being kept on until 30 April to deal with the end-of-year paperwork and some may remain at the firm in new roles.

New managing partner Michael Wood said: “We've undertaken a formal consulting process and hopefully some staff may accept job offers.”

The department, which currently handles the investment business of more than 200 clients, is due to close at the end of April.

“After a review, we had to decide either to expand the service or close it down,” said Wood. “It would have been a considerable investment to expand in the current economic climate.”

Regulatory changes have also had an impact on the firm's decision and Wood said that the money would instead be invested in core legal services.

The majority of the investment arm's clients also use the firm's legal services, a situation which the firm says “remains unaltered”.

The firm is recommending that its clients transfer their business to investment management company Rathbones.