AN asset management company in York has been taken over by a London stockbroker.

The London York Group has conditionally agreed to merge with publicly-quoted London stockbroker and fund manager Walker, Crips, Weddle, Beck plc (WCWB).

The York organisation will keep its independence and the 37 employees will not be affected at the Foss Islands Road offices.

WCWB is acquiring the shares in the London York parent company, G&E Investment Services Limited, and London York's managing director, David Hetherton, and chairman and co-founder, Bob Elliott, will join the WCWB board.

The original shareholders, including Mr Hetherton and Mr Elliott, will continue to own the York building, which is the former headquarters of builders William Birch and Sons. Completion will take place with WCWB shareholder approval and Financial Services Authority consent.

London York Fund Managers was started in 1980.

Mr Hetherton said: "The financial services world is in a state of near-constant change, and we felt we had reached a stage where the right strategic partner would add greatly to our business, but we made sure that in the process, we were getting into bed with the right organisation."