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ASHL grows to 400 advisers after network acquisitions

ASHL grows to 400 advisers after network acquisitions

Adviser Services Holdings Limited has grown to 400 advisers in its first years of operation, in line with its 500 adviser target for the next three years.

Since launching in 2019, ASHL acquired the Sense and Lyncombe networks in 2020 with 280 advisers combined, and also facilitated the transition of 60 advisers from Network Direct at the end of the year. A further 60 advisers were recruited throughout 2020-21.

The combined business now houses 400 advisers with £5bn of assets, of which 350 are independent and 50 are restricted.

It had itself a target last year of reaching 500 advisers by 2023-24.

In 2020, revenue for the Sense and Lyncome networks was up 8 per cent to £42m, with profit after tax reaching £1.1m. Its assets under influence now sit at more than £5bn.

Broken down, Sense made up the bulk of the growth. It saw revenues climb from £36m to £37.95m, and profits increase from £670,000 to £894,000.

Whilst the Lyncome network, smaller than Sense, saw its revenue increase from £3m to £4.47m, with profits up from £80,000 to £180,000.

As for the firm’s newly launched DFM Rockhold Investments, ASHL said it expects it to reach £200m in assets under management by year end. 

“Despite a backdrop of the Covid pandemic, we are delighted to announce such strong results,” Michael Couzens, chief executive of ASHL, said today (September 16).

“As a start-up, our group costs included various acquisitions, transitioning advisers, supporting the consolidation of processes across the piece, and establishing a DFM [direct fund manager], Rockhold Investments.”

He continued: “During the year, we managed not to furlough or make redundant any staff and instead, have continued to recruit advisers and senior management to support our growing group.”

Overall, Couzens said the group was “making steady profits on a monthly basis”, and is expected to deliver “another strong result” in 2021.

Set up in May 2019, ASHL set itself a five-year strategic plan with the end goal of creating a variety of high-quality support propositions for financial advisers and owners of adviser firms.

Its latest decision to launch a discretionary investment manager was in order to gain control over its investment services.

Alongside Couzens, ASHL is also run by managing director Andy Ferns, who previously led distribution networks at Zurich and Openwork, and commercial director Stuart Creswell, who previously headed up relationship management at Sesame Bankhall.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com