Depolaristion may open up the UK market to more cross-border takeovers of IFA chains, according to th...
Friedemann Derndinger, chief operating officer of AWD, says his company still has €500m earmarked to help the company persue further acquisitions across Europe, including the UK.
Depolarisation did not clinch the deal when Thomson's was negotiated, he says, but the fact depolarisation is happening does not hurt AWD in terms of looking out for more potential deals.
Thomson's has already committed to a business plan that could see it become one of the top three services providers in its category by 2005, doubling the number of advisers it employs.
Making further acquisitions would substantially bolster AWD's UK presence on top of that.
AWD is Germany's biggest IFA chain, with some 3,000 IFAs on its books, although it has a small number of core administration staff because its business model focuses on promoting local brands and leaving local marketing decisions in the hands of the companies it takes over.
Ownership structures changed by depolarisation could result in some unorthodox moves at least by those IFA businesses which are listed, Derndinger adds.
AWD is listed on the Frankfurt exchange, and will not, for example, promote products of companies that buy up more than 5% of the shares.
Derndinger says this is done for reasons of retaining the "independent" lable that otherwise might fall under suspicion among customers.
With its new focus in the UK market, the German company plans to launch a range of new products details of which will be released closer to the 1 February launch date.
It is also developing private wealth management services that will target customers with as little as €5,000 worth of cash.
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