Sanlam has confirmed it will “wind down” its adviser network, Sanlam Partnerships, saying it no longer fit with its business model.
In a statement the investment manager said: “The increased scale and systems capacity required to grow a financial adviser network no longer fits with Sanlam UK's business model.
“All adviser firms have been informed of the decision and Sanlam will be working closely with those businesses to find new, high quality networks and relationships to help support continuity to clients."
Former Beaufort Group executive, Rod Stewart, has led the adviser business since September 2019, while the wider group is headed by former Ashcourt Rowan CEO Jonathan Polin.
It is believed Sanlam had been looking for a buyer for the network before making the decision to wind it down.
For advisers relying on Sanlam to operate as appointed representatives, the wind down means they will have to move to another network or become directly authorised with the Financial Conduct Authority.
The news comes less than two months after Lawrence Cook, its head of UK intermediary distribution, told FTAdviser the firm was “pretty pleased” with the advisers which chose to stay following its fee hike last year.
Sanlam hit its adviser firms with a change to its fee model, which saw all appointed representatives charged a minimum of £20,000 regardless of their size.
Following this, about 30 appointed representatives handed in their notice and 10 had left the network by July last year, but Sanlam pointed out that fees were not necessarily the cause in all of these cases.
A Sanlam spokesperson said at the time: “Fewer than 10 have actually left. Around 30 have resigned, but a number are now reconsidering, having looked around. Not all are leaving due to fees; some are retiring and some are selling their business.”
Despite the exodus of firms and Sanlam’s latest decision to shut the network, Cook said back in June the firm was “growing quite well”.
He added that Sanlam had taken a financial stake in some of the firms to help with succession planning.
It is unclear what will happen to these stakes.