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Network boss sees surge in struggling DA enquiries

Adviser network Beaufort Group has reported an increase in enquiries from directly-authorised firms who are finding post-Retail Distribution Review compliance requirements too much to handle on their own.

The group is looking to take on up to six more firms this year.

In an interview with FTAdviser, Simon Goldthorpe, executive chairman of the Beaufort Group and managing director of sister advisory firm Beaufort Asset Management, said there has been a significant number of enquiries from directly-authorised firms who are finding it difficult to cope.

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He said: “Having their own compliance function is a but of a risk, while we can have a compliance function that is speaking directly to the regulator.”

Although Mr Goldthorpe member firms have more control in Beaufort’s model than with other larger networks they have had to be very selective about which firms they allow to join.

Mr Goldthorpe said: “The right firm for us has a good level of turnover and a history of delivering high-quality advice, a very low complaint count, very good regulatory history and they have to be Chartered or on their way to being Chartered.

“We have had to turn away many firms.”

Despite being officially recognised as a network, Mr Goldthorpe prefers to instead think of the group as a co-operative of member firms similar to structures found in law or accountancy firms.

In an earlier interview (8 February) Ian Williams of Ridgeford Consultants suggested smaller advice firms could merge in a partnership arrangement similar to that of law firms.

Read the full interview with Mr Goldthorpe here.