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Sesame’s Cowan says era of networks boasting size is over

Sesame’s Cowan says era of networks boasting size is over

Sesame Bankhall Group (SBG) executive chairman, John Cowan, has promised that his newly slimmed down business will not be “playing the numbers game”.

He said it would be more important for his network to have “deeper” relationships with its advisers than to have large numbers of them.

Mr Cowan was speaking in a week when SBG revealed that most of the advisers who left its AR network when it closed last month either went directly authorised (DA) through Bankhall or moved to preferred partner Intrinsic.

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He said: “What I have learned out of all of this is that the time when networks say to each other ‘we’ve got a bigger one than you’ is over. We are not going to be in the game of saying that we need to get a certain number of advisers.

“I think that in the past a lot of businesses have been guilty of playing the numbers game, but it’s a blind alley. We need a different kind of relationship with our advisers. A better, stronger and deeper one.”

Mr Cowan said Bankhall, which provides support services to DA advisers, would reach approximately 1,000 advisers in the next few months.

Of the 350 firms that left Sesame following the closure of its AR network in July, 105 of them moved to Bankhall while 150 moved to Intrinsic.

He also confirmed that SBG would be closing Optimum Investment Management – its joint venture with Henderson Global Investors – and the Financial Adviser School.

Mr Cowan added: “The Financial Adviser School is a real pet of ours, and everyone supported it, but it became untenable and is no longer appropriate for our business.”

Sesame is set to make an announcement about the school in the near future.

Adviser view

Justin King, managing director of Dorset-based MFP Wealth Management, said: “There is nothing wrong with scale as long as it is done correctly.

“The difficulty is that the larger the business the more layers of management they involved.”