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National IFA boosts profits by pushing ‘bionic advice’

National IFA boosts profits by pushing ‘bionic advice’

LEBC Group has reported operating profits up by two-thirds to £1.84m at the start of October 2015, from £1.10m at the end of September 2014.

Turnover at the national IFA, pensions and employee benefits consultancy also increased 22 per cent, to £15m.

This growth was driven primarily by an unprecedented increase in activity from auto-enrolment, defined benefit consultancy and pension freedoms, which it forecasts will be maintained during 2016.

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Jack McVitie, chief executive of LEBC Group, said the firm maintained a focus on increased efficiency and better use of technology to provide greater access to advice.

He said: “Given the sharp increase in demand for advice, we have coined the term ‘bionic advice’.

“This is the use of technology and human interface with the client to deliver appropriate solutions. We see this combination as the only way to fully embrace this growing advice demand.”

He went on to say LEBC has maintained a proactive recruitment programme for qualified and part-qualified advisers, along with paraplanners and the introduction of a graduate scheme.

“These programmes will remain in place during 2016 so we will continue to attract the necessary talent to ensure that we are meeting the demands of our growing client base, the business and ever changing sector.”

Mr McVitie also noted this time last year he stated the aim of transforming access advice for employers, employees and individuals, while building a business plan for the next 10 years of growth.

“We could not have wished for a better start,” he added.

Looking specifically at auto-enrolment, LEBC’s statement mentioned small employers will be completing staging over the next 18 months, while large and medium sized businesses will have entered three-year reviews of their arrangements.

“For those mini and micro employers who are facing and will be facing the requirement for auto-enrolment between now and 2018, we are proud to have provided them with the markets simplest and most effective solution with our partners, the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and Aviva,” Mr McVitie added.

LEBC Group is an appointed representative of TenetConnect.

It has 15 branch locations spread throughout the UK: Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, London, Maidstone, Manchester, Preston, Reading and Woking.

peter.walker@ft.com