Culture is key
Others flagged concerns that Nucleus’s ethos of good culture and close relationships could disappear amid the merger.
Dominic Thomas, of Solomon’s Financial Planning, said: “Nucleus is, to be blunt, a rather brilliant company that we have been using for many years.
“The technology works and the culture [...] have been a beacon in my sector. One of integrity, innovation, and transparency.”
Williams agreed, adding he knew that if he had a problem at Nucleus, it would be dealt with, but this was not always the case with James Hay.
He said: “I hope that the Nucleus culture and senior management team become the core of the future business.
“If that is the case then it could be an exciting time for both businesses, evolving the offering currently available through James Hay and giving the Nucleus model economies of scale which are not currently available to them.”
An industry source added that some advisers who used Nucleus could feel “a little uncomfortable” that it was no longer the “independent platform” they signed up to.
They also raised concerns over how the culture of the two firms would now evolve, especially as James Hay is backed by private equity firm Epiris.
Analysts urged the platforms to reassure their adviser users on the future direction of travel.
Mayor said Nucleus would need to reassure its adviser community that the "high-tech, data-science" and "high-service" ethos would remain.
He added: “For James Hay users that enjoy its modular approach, where advisers can turn off and on elements of the proposition, I’d imagine immediate thoughts will be how this might change.”
Mike Barrett, director at the Lang Cat, agreed, noting that advisers would need reassurance from the new leadership as soon as possible.
He added: “This will be especially important for Nucleus supporting advisers, who have been used to close contact with the provider.”
Others backed the deal. Ben Hammond, platforms director at Altus Consulting, said the platforms complemented each other well in terms of both product offering and adviser coverage.
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