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Openwork picks KRS as sole equity release partner

The national advisory firm will become the restricted network’s sole referral partner for equity release advice, following an industry-wide tender process, but the cost of the tie-up is yet to be disclosed by either party.

Dean Mirfin, group director at KRS, said the deal would add a “robust proposition” to the network’s advice model.

Paul Shearman, director of Openwork’s mortgage, protection and general insurance divisions, said the firm’s “national coverage”, whole-of-market offering and rigorous compliance had won it the contract.

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Openwork had previously struck a similar deal with Partnership, making it the sole provider of enhanced and standard annuities for the network’s appointed representatives.

Under the terms of the tie-up, revealed last April, Partnership agreed to pay £8.25m towards the cost of an IT system, designed to support Openwork’s new underwriting processes, with an additional £1.4m a year pledged for five years to cover the costs of promotion, adviser training, account management services and IT maintenance.