Openwork posts profit for fourth year running

Openwork posts profit for fourth year running

Openwork made an operating profit of £4.8m in 2015, the fourth consecutive year it has found itself in the black.

The company grew its revenue by 30 per cent last year, marking four years since the network posted its first-ever profit in 2012 as a standalone trading company.

Profits at Openwork were actually down compared to 2014, when the company made £5.5m, but up on the £1.7m profit achieved in 2013.

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Chief executive Mark Duckworth said it was “extremely gratifying” to see results broadly consistent with 2014’s strong performance, particularly given the “significant challenges” associated with the Mortgage Market Review, aimed at raising standards in the mortgage broking industry.

“For that we owe a debt of gratitude to our advisers, who continue to work tirelessly to ensure their clients always receive high quality advice and great outcomes.

“In recent months we have signed a significant shareholder agreement that will result in our advisers owning the network, and welcomed major advice businesses like Just Mortgages into the fold,” he stated.

“We have a fantastic base from which to develop the business further and we look forward to enhancing our proposition and infrastructure over the coming months and years while growing our revenue and profits.”

Earlier this year, Openwork signed an agreement that will see Zurich divest its 25 per cent shareholding in the network within four years.

By March 2020, Zurich will transfer its shares to Openwork’s other main shareholder, Openwork Partnership LLP, which represents more than 600 adviser firms and 3,000 advisers.

Last July, Openwork announced a “radical” restructure of its distribution business, dividing it into three business units – wealth, mortgage and protection.

More recently, in April the network made Just Mortgages Direct its largest mortgage-focused appointed representative.

Mr Duckworth said that since joining Openwork, Just Mortgages has submitted more than 1,000 cases and is already on a run-rate to deliver in excess of £1bn in mortgage lending annually.

Overall, he added, Openwork is on course to surpass £10bn of mortgage lending this year.