Sanlam UK has revealed plans to form partnerships with 40 IFA firms by 2012 and help transform their business models for the RDR.
The UK arm of the South African financial services group already has a cluster of subsidiary companies in the country but says it is now focusing on the IFA market.
"Our strategy is to take the Sanlam name out into the IFA community and present it as a brand to partner and work with IFA firms," says CEO of Sanlam UK Lukas van der Walt.
"We see a value shift from product providers and asset managers to distributors and clients and we feel we can contribute to this."
Sanlam consolidated its UK business units in June 2008 and it now has a growing portfolio of financial services businesses operating in distribution, packaging, administration and asset management services.
The company says regulatory changes are placing pressures on traditional adviser business models, creating opportunities for it to forge relationships with IFAs by offering distribution models, promoting RDR-friendly platforms and advising on best practice.
"We want to partner around 40 IFA firms by 2012," says van der Walt.
The new drive will see the firm build on its presence in the UK financial services industry following its acquisition of Merchant Investors in 2004 and the purchase of Welsh IFA Buckles in 2008. It also has a 42.5% stake in Nucleus, a 92% stake in investment management firm Principal and a 28% stake in Intrinsic.
Newly-appointed Sanlam UK head of distribution Nigel Speirs says: "We can provide wrap functionality through Nucleus and the Merchant Investors product range and fund management facilities through Principal - in fact, there is no aspect of fund management we can't provide to IFAs. The only thing we are not providing is protection."
While Sanlam pursues its partnership strategy, subsidiary Buckles is following an acquisition strategy built on purchasing the businesses of retiring IFAs.
Speirs, who is also Buckles' chief executive, explains the strategy.
"The typical kind of firms we will be targeting will be one or two-man businesses who have been around for 20 years, are ready to retire and we will take over the business and clients," he says. ""We will replace retiring IFAs with fresh, well-qualified recruits."
Buckles is the largest IFA firm in Wales and is ranked in the top 100 in the UK by turnover.
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