A London-based financial advisory firm has embarked on a significant growth plan, bolstering its mortgage advice team and setting in place initiatives to help it reach £1bn assets under managment (AUM) by 2018.
Martin Lockyer, managing partner at Westminster Wealth Management, said the firm had plans to attain 50 IFAs with £1bn of assets under influence by 2018.
“We currently stand at 31 IFAs with £500m assets under advice, so our goals are ambitious, but we have a series of exciting business and marketing initiatives to help us achieve them and the mortgage team will be a central part of our future success,” he said.
To help it achieve this target, Westminster Wealth Management has hired adviser Martin Cook to its mortgage broking team. Mr Cook was previously at Capital Private Finance where he serviced the Hamptons Estate Agency Group.
He will specialise in offering mortgage solutions to independent estate agents as well as servicing the high net-worth client base of Westminster Wealth’s IFAs and cites the significantly higher conversion rates at IFA firms as a reason for the move.
According to Mr Lockyer, Westminster Wealth Management placed more than £100m of lending in 2014 and is on course to reach £150m in 2015. The target for 2016 is £250m, which the firm believes is attainable with the recruitment of high-quality brokers and the buoyancy of the post-MMR market.
Mr Cook, said: “Lenders are increasingly embracing IFA distribution in the mortgage market so now is the perfect time to come on board.”
CML communications manager Bernard Clarke said: “I would be wary of interpreting this solely to the introduction of MMR.
“In Q1 2014, 59 per cent of home-owner mortgages went through intermediaries. The figures for the next three quarters were 63 per cent, 62 per cent and 62 per cent.”