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The Verve Group moves to consolidate businesses

The Verve Group moves to consolidate businesses

Financial services firm, The Verve Group has shared its plans to consolidate its businesses this year as it looks to become a one-stop-shop for advice firms.

Speaking to FTAdviser, The Verve Group founder and chief executive, Cathi Harrison explained that consolidating the group’s existing companies under one brand is “the final piece of the puzzle” in its development. 

Currently, the group offer adviser support services such as compliance training and outsourced paraplanning across its three brands: Apricity, Para-Sols and The Art of Finance. 

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The group also offers a two-year structured programme for new entrants to the financial industry via its graduate scheme and produces ‘That Mint Podcast’, a podcast on all things financial services. 

The final arm of its current structure is The Verve Foundation, which looks after the group’s not-for-profit initiatives.

“Having lots of separate individual companies made sense at the time when we set them up, but made less sense as we got bigger and were working with more advisers,” Harrison told FTAdviser.

“Obviously I'm biased, but I think we've got a completely unique offering in the market. There is absolutely nobody out there that does paraplanning and exam training and compliance and business support. 

"This variety we offer is pretty special but it was almost getting lost by being split across different companies.

“So putting all of that together into a single one means that hopefully for any advice firm, whatever they need, they can just come to Verve and it will be much more straightforward for them,” Harrison explained.

The date for full consolidation is set for June 5 this year, when the company plans to launch a new technology proposition. 

Details on this are being kept firmly under wraps for now but Harrison has hinted that it will “be of huge value to advice firms”.

Harrison initially set up Para-Sols 12 years ago to provide outsourced paraplanning to advice firms.

Over time the company grew organically into the collection of businesses it is today with the tagline “we do everything but give advice”.

Training overhaul

Under its Apricity brand, the group offers a suite of training programmes to help those in the advice industry stay up to speed with compliance and changing legislation.

Whereas under its Art of Finance arm, the group provides training and exam support to new entrants to the advice industry. 

As part of its consolidation programme the group plans to overhaul how it provides these training programmes and will focus much more on making sure they are flexible and accessible for learners. 

From the end of this month, the group will relaunch how it does its professional exam training with learners given access to recorded sessions rather than being expected to attend everything live. 

“The way most firms do it is people get their books and they do their studies and then they do two full days of intensive Zoom exam training, which means two full days at the office," Harrison said.