Friends Provident has acquired intermediary firms, Sesame Group and Pantheon Financial, in a move ai...
Friends Provident has acquired intermediary firms, Sesame Group and Pantheon Financial, in a move aimed at strengthening its relationship with distributors.
Sesame Group, which provides regulatory compliance, training, research and technology services, has more than 75,000 members who distribute investment, protection, mortgage and general insurance products.
Pantheon Financial is an IFA firm specialising in the high net worth and ultra high net worth markets. It currently has over 15,000 clients and is involved in financial planning, tax and investment advice, scheme administration, and a retail investment unit operating via a call centre.
Friends Provident will acquire Sesame from Misys Services for £75m and Pantheon Financial for an upfront payment of £16.8m in cash, with potential further payments spread over the next three years depending on performance.
Commenting on the acquisition, Peter McGahan, director of IFA firm Worldwide Financial Planning, said a new parent company often meant better services and more opportunities but warned Friends Provident would have to address any concerns advisers might have. He said: "I would say it is a positive move. Friends Provident is clearly keen to invest in that business model to protect its distribution but it will need to be mindful that it cannot own the people it has bought and it will have to show them value."
Ben Gunn, director at Friends Provident, claimed the move showed commitment to maintaining and supporting a healthy intermediated market, its primary access to the market. He said: "Consumers should have a choice from a stable and efficient adviser community that identifies the best client solutions. They will be running as autonomous companies so we will not be expecting bias."
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