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Polin wants to boost Sanlam adviser numbers

Polin wants to boost Sanlam adviser numbers

Sanlam chief executive Jonathan Polin has said his company needs to grow its adviser numbers “pretty significantly”, saying he will focus on this next year.

Mr Polin, who joined the company at the end of last year, has been spending the past few months looking into how he can turn Sanlam into a “significant player” in the UK.

Having restructured the company into one brand he said Sanlam would be launching a new proposition next month.

Mr Polin said: “We are putting much better functionality into the client portal that will be finalised next year and bringing out new products which will be delivered next year.

“One of the biggest improvements has been getting people to see it as one company and part of the process now will be articulating that to the external market.

“If you believe, like I do, that the business is best focused throug the lens of holistic financial advice then we need to grow our adviser business and we need to grow it pretty significantly in percentage terms.

“We also need to be careful that we get the right quality. I want a long-term sustainable business.”

Mr Polin said advisers were becoming increasingly open to joining vertically integrated businesses such as Sanlam.

He said: “I believe that independence has always been a non-issue for clients and becoming more of a non-issue for advisers.

“St James’s Place continues to grow, Old Mutual Wealth and Intrinsic are growing pretty heavily and Standard Life is growing 1825. That is showing you that vertical integration cannot be bad because there are a lot of advisers moving that way.

“There is absolutely a place there for independent boutiques but the majority of the market is going to be looked after by large vertically integrated businesses owned by large institutions.”

Mr Polin added that he didn’t think the South African-owned company would be affected by the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, though he said he personally regretted the decision to opt for Brexit.

He said: “We see some of the wider ramifications as an opportunity. Some of our competitors may want to sit things out while they get a view of where it is going but we can be more nimble.”

In July Mr Polin joined the board of alternatives platform CoInvestor, which was launched last year.