Standard Life’s new advice arm 1825 has bought Almary Green, its managing director has announced.
Carl Lamb said he will continue to head up the business, and will join the executive committee of 1825, the advice business Standard Life set up when it bought Pearson Jones in July.
Mr Lamb 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 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.”
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 our offering will remain in our clients’ best interests.”
Following the deal, which is still subject to regulatory approval, Almary Green’s advisers will continue to provide their services from its 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: “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.”
On completion of the deal, Standard Life will have more than 50 financial planners advising more than 7,000 clients on around £2bn of their assets.