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Sesame advisers look set to shun new network

Sesame advisers look set to shun new network

Several Sesame Bankhall Group’s wealth advisers will shun the network’s deal with another company and become directly authorised following the closure of its AR wealth advice network.

A group of them have already said they will go directly authorised and use Bankhall’s services rather than join another network.

Clive Balchin, currently a Sesame adviser based in Lancashire, said since the announcement he had been “inundated” with calls from firms trying to poach him – including St James’s Place and SimplyBiz.

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He said: “We are going to go DA, probably through Bankhall. I certainly won’t go to another network.

“I have been with Sesame for 18 years and in the past two years I have gone from being an advocate of Sesame to being disappointed with it.

“The problem is that it is such a broad church. I went to a meeting with some people from the compliance department and it became clear they had completely lost touch with what the job is about.”

Meanwhile two Suffolk-based advisers, David Drane, partner at New Discovery Financial Services and Paul Yallop, principal at Parklands Independent Financial Services, have also said they will go DA through Bankhall.

Stephanie Pickering, a partner with Tyne and Wear-based Verity Wealth Management, said she left Sesame when it went restricted last year.

She said: “The idea of going restricted just did not appeal so we went DA. I think a lot of people will do the same and use Bankhall services like we have done.

“To be honest I am not surprised about what has happened.”

According to the Financial Adviser top 100, there are 827 CF30 individuals at Sesame, though this had gone down from 2,247 in April 2010.

Ian McIver, head of sales at IFA Compliance which provides support services for advisers, said he had received a large number of calls since the announcement.

He said: “If I were a betting man I would say most of the people who leave Sesame will go DA.

“It is a stepping stone for most people who use you for your compliance service and then learn how to do it themselves.”

Sesame has still not revealed which network it is in negotiations with about taking on its advisers. Openwork has denied it is the network. Current speculation points to Intrinsic, but the firm did not respond when asked.

John Cowan, executive chairman at Sesame Bankhall Group, said: “We hope to be in a position to help facilitate a smooth transition through either becoming directly authorised with Bankhall or, for those wanting to remain as ARs, move to a new network partner.”

Background

Friends Life acquired Sesame for £75m from software provider Misys in March 2007.

But it launched a strategic review into the network in 2013.

That year the business was fined £6m for failing to ensure the Keydata advice it gave was suitable – this amounted to £2m more than Sesame made in profit in 2012.