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LEBC chief focuses on bionic advice after share deal

LEBC chief focuses on bionic advice after share deal

Private equity firm BP Marsh now owns more than 42 per cent of LEBC after a £2m deal which the boss of the advice firm said will allow him to concentrate on delivering “bionic advice”.

Jack McVitie, chief excecutive of LEBC, said private equity firm BP Marsh had increased its stake in the national advisory group, buying a further 8.02 per cent for nearly £2m.

This means BP Marsh now owns 42.68 per cent of LEBC, after buying its latest stake from a group of legacy shareholders mainly made up of retired employees.

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“We are happy to get the deal done,” Mr McVitie said, calling it a vote of confidence in the firm.

“This transaction has settled the shareholder base down and it gives us a platform to stand on. I don’t think this is something we need to think about again in any major way for the next few years.

“It lets us get on with our future management plans. We have been growing the business quite nicely in the last few years, working on additional technological support for advisers so we can give more advice to more people.”

This focus on developing systems and processes is aimed at rolling out what LEBC calls bionic advice.

Mr McVitie explained this would combine human and automated services, allowing clients using its service to fill in an online questionnaire pin-pointing their specific issues, before being handed over to a financial adviser who will focus on those areas.

Standard office hours are replaced by an ‘out of hours’ service, meaning clients to log on at any time and contact their ‘on-call’ adviser working from home.

Mr McVitie said his company is seeing more and more demand for individual advice in the pensions arena. “We are doing everything we can to improve our offering in that area, we think we are a market leader.”

He added the company is open to acquisitions for the right price, but questioned whether a future floatation of the business would bring any benefits to LEBC.