Zurich has divested its 25% shareholding in Openwork, meaning the UK's largest financial advice network is now majority-owned by the Openwork Partnership LLP, which represents member firms.
The culmination of a strategy set out by Zurich when it created Openwork in 2005 will see the latter's employees retain a minority shareholding through an employee benefit trust.
Openwork chief executive officer Mark Duckworth said: "In February 2016 we announced the partners would become Openwork's majority shareholder within four years and we have been working hard to prepare the business for everything that separation entails.
"The fact we have reached this milestone two years early should give everyone connected to Openwork huge confidence and optimism."
He added: "We have a secure, stable, profitable business that delivers a hugely important service to hundreds of thousands of people across the UK. To be doing this independently - to have our destiny in our own hands - is exciting."
Partner Andy Wilmot, who chairs Openwork's Shareholder Council, the body of partners which represents the limited liability partnership (LLP), said: "On behalf of all partners, I am delighted we have realised our ambition and created something we believe is unique in financial services.
"Holding equity in a growing business that has the scale and power of Openwork has been much-anticipated and we look forward to welcoming more partners to enjoy the benefits as Openwork continues to expand."
Zurich established Openwork from its financial adviser network in 2005, when it was supported by a few hundred staff members operating from its Swindon head office. The business now has more than 3,600 advisers across its wealth, mortgage, protection and insurance channels.
‘Best of breed'
Openwork will continue to distribute Zurich's product lines in the UK, offering them to its advisers through the network's ‘best-of-breed' panels.
Zurich Insurance Company head of UK retail David White said: "I am delighted for Mark and his team, and for the LLP, that we have achieved our long-planned separation and Openwork now stands on its own. While Zurich will no longer be a shareholder, our relationship will remain strong and we look forward to continuing to provide our products and services to Openwork advisers and their clients."
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