A drive to convert mortgage brokers in a "dead" market into fully fledged financial advisers is gathering pace at Park Row.
The IFA, the subject of recent speculation concerning its future under parent company Royal Liver, says two advisers have completed the switch this year while 15 others are in the process of doing so.
Park Row says it supports those brokers opting to become wealth planners by providing study materials and exam support.
Sales and marketing director Carey Shakespeare says the scheme was devised in response to a slowing mortgage market he describes as "completely knackered".
"Let's be honest: the market is not in great shape and if you are minded to see the bottle as half empty rather than half full, you could end up slitting your wrists.
"There may be some so-called green shoots of recovery but there certainly aren't enough of them. The market is dead.
"We are facilitating the move by brokers to become full IFAs and two individuals have already done that in 2009. More are in the pipeline."
Shakespeare adds the firm's external recruitment drive is also healthy despite reports suggesting owner Royal Liver is considering selling the business.
He says the firm is on track to recruit 20 new advisers in the coming months, adding he has an extra 60 applications "on my desk".
Park Row was bought by Royal Liver in 2003 for £16.7m but last year reported an operating loss of nearly £6m, despite an aggressive cost-cutting programme.
"We're very happy with recruitment," Shakespeare says. "I wish people were able to do more business but you can't make consumers buy financial products.
"We're out there working very hard and I don't know any business that isn't 30% down. They can't not be.
"We have a number of advisers saying this is the worst year they can remember, and they've been doing it 20 years."
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