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By Simoney Girard and Nicola Culley | Published Mar 22, 2012

London-based Blueprint leaves Openwork

Philip Martin, proposition and marketing director for Openwork, claimed the announcement that the London-based firm was leaving was a disappointment but not a surprise.

This followed an announcement from the firm, issued on 21st March (yesterday), in which Blueprint staff were told: “Intrinsic Financial Services acquired the equity of Blueprint Financial Services and Blueprint Organisation, the holding company that owns Blueprint Distribution and IFPG.”

Mr Martin said: “While it is always disappointing to see businesses leave us, the reality is that Blueprint’s decision will have no significant impact on our bottom line.

“Our strategy will remain very much focused on building long-term relationships with high quality businesses, whatever their size, provided it is of mutual benefit.

“Chasing adviser numbers does not work and our recruitment policy accordingly centres on what firms can deliver in terms of quality of advice and profitability as opposed to headcount.”

Economic history shows that, even though the largest firms may deliver the highest volumes of sales, the profit margins are not always commensurate with the level of sales generated.

Blueprint, headed by Andy Thompson, has 85 advisers in addition to other staff. There are two or three other firms in the Openwork network that have equivalent numbers of advisers. Overall, Openwork has just under 700 businesses, comprising 2300 advisers.

Intrinsic has 1700 advisers.

However Mr Martin said any emphasis on numbers goes against the ethos of what a network is about - it was the quality and profitability and sustainability of a firm as the industry moves towards the retail distribution review world that mattered.

He said: “Numbers of advisers within a network are are of secondary importance. It is the quality and profitability that counts.”

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