OMW purchase of Intrinsic to spur recruitment: Feeney

The chief executive of Old Mutual Wealth said the firm planned to increase headcount this year by up to 250 advisers, while firm acquisitions would further bolster the network’s 3000 strong adviser headcount.

He added that the purchase of the UK’s largest network of restricted and independent advisers for an undisclosed fee, was an important step in Old Mutual’s strategy of creating the UK’s leading retail investment business.

Intrinsic chief executive Richard Freeman said: “The weakness of the network model is capital, so ownership by Old Mutual will bring a host of benefits to our customers and to our business, including the support of a single, stable shareholder.”

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The deal paved the way for Sanlam UK to sell its 23 per cent stake in the network to Old Mutual, with chief executive Lukas van der Walt stating the sale would allow it to focus on the growth and development of its own advice and wealth management businesses in the UK.

Mr Freeman added that further acquisitions would have been unlikely without the backing of the provider. He said Intrinsic had no plans to dispose of the Positive Solutions brand, which was acquired, along with 850 advisers, last June from Aegon UK.

Intrinsic’s business model will remain, as it continued to support both independent and restricted advisers in all markets. It is also set to launch an academy to help bring in new blood.

Mr Feeney added the acquisition of a distribution arm was integral to OMW’s growth plans. This is in sharp contrast to Friends Life, which last spring put Sesame Bankhall Group under review with a view to a sale.

At the time, Andy Briggs, group chief executive of Friends Life, said: “IFAs are best owned by entrepreneurs, not FTSE 100 companies”. Last month, Lloyds Bank sold its remaining stakes in St James’s Place.

Nigel Stockton, financial services director at Countrywide, said: “It augurs well for the intermediary market that product providers are purchasing distributors again.”

Adviser View

Mathew Burman, a Bristol-based IFA partner with Positive Solutions, said: “It hasn’t affected how I run my business, but it bucks the trend of life companies selling networks. I’m told it will bring additional benefits to advisers and financial strength to develop our proposition.”