Standard Life’s new advice arm has bought Almary Green, its managing director has announced.
Carl Lamb said he will continue to head the business and will join the executive committee of 1825, the advice business Standard Life set-up when it bought Pearson Jones in July.
He said: “I have long been concerned about the sustainability of firms as a result of spiralling costs - due mostly to the increasing cost of regulation.
“It has become clear to me over the past 12 months that many traditional small to medium sized firms will face almost insurmountable challenges if they are to continue to provide affordable advice.
“I believe that the industry has some way to go to find a solution to the advice gap and that life for advice firms will get tougher before it gets better. I have been determined to find a solution to allow us to continue to serve our clients well for many years to come.”
Mr Lamb said a factor in choosing to sell to 1825 was that its client proposition has a “strong focus on goal-based financial planning and positive client outcomes”.
The deal means the company and its advisers will be moving from being independent to being restricted, a move Mr Lamb said he did not take lightly.
He said: “I do feel that the argument for independence has weakened with the pressures on affordability and access to advice, and that the competitive nature of the industry means that our offering will remain in our clients’ best interests.
“Aligning ourselves with one of the industry’s major players, Standard Life, will ensure that we can plan for the long term with confidence and bring continuity and stability to our clients.
“The range of advice we can give will not change and, although our proposition will be structured using a restricted framework, we will continue to have access to market leading solutions and strategies for our clients.”
Following the deal, which is still subject to regulatory approval, Almary Green’s advisers will continue to provide their services from its existing head office in Norwich.
Almary Green was founded by Mr Lamb, a former fighter controller in the RAF, in 2001.
It has 22 advisers and paraplanners and assets under advice of £400m.
Steve Murray, chief executive of 1825, said: “Today’s announcement continues to accelerate our ambition to build a nationwide financial planning business of significant scale through organic growth and the acquisition of progressive financial planning firms who are aligned with our values and vision.
“Almary Green is a very welcome addition, bringing a team of talented, professional and dedicated individuals with a core focus on delivering positive outcomes for clients.”
Standard Life’s acquisition of Pearson Jones was announced in February last year, when the company said it planned to expand this new arm of its business “organically and inorganically” by buying “progressive” financial advice firms.