Sesame Bankhall reveals surge in adviser numbers

Friends Life-owned distributor Sesame Bankhall has reported that 100 individual advisers joined its network and became authorised to write business in January alone, marking the strongest uptick in new members since 2004.

In an interview with FTAdviser, to be published Friday (10 February), George Higginson, chief executive of Sesame Bankhall, said the intermediary currently has about 2,300 members of its network.

With the Retail Distribution Review deadline less than 11 months away, Mr Higginson said the intermediary had built up its recruitment team to make sure adviser numbers were the same at the end of this year – if not slightly higher – than at the end of 2011.

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According to Mr Higginson the new recruits to his network were not shifting from direct authorisation. He added that many were those left out in the cold following Co-operative’s decision to pulls its advice channel in July 2011.

Mr Higginson said many of the advisers the group was currently attracting were from rival networks.

He said: “There are some people who are questioning the long-term plan of their network.

“People want to be in the right place for the post Retail Distribution Review world. There is no point being with a company that is stuck on just one thing. What if that thing does not come to pass?

“If you want to change your mind and become restricted or be independent for some business and not for others, then we can accommodate that while others perhaps cannot.”