Key Retirement has promoted Will Hale to chief executive as it launches a recruitment drive aimed at taking its total equity release adviser numbers to more than 200 across the UK through next year.
It is actively recruiting advisers as part of major expansion plans across the market-leading equity release advice arm including significant investment in training through its Key Academy initiative, aimed at bringing new advisers into the market and developing existing staff.
Mr Hale, who joined Key Retirement Group in 2014 as business development director, has been promoted to spearhead the expansion plans, which also include increased investment in technology to help engage and educate customers through enhanced online journeys.
Mr Hale is also aiming to increase adviser productivity through integrating proprietary sourcing systems with lender and solicitor platforms.
Key is launching the recruitment and investment drive following its £208m acquisition by global private markets investment manager Partners Group as it builds for continuing growth in the equity release market.
Equity release lending grew by 33 per cent in the first half of the year and analysts estimate the market will break the £5bn barrier by 2021, which would be more than double the £2.1bn lent in 2016.
Key’s plans to support the market expansion include strengthening partnerships with major banks and building societies aimed at providing solutions for customers facing interest-only mortgage shortfalls, and supporting introducers across the wealth and mortgage intermediary sectors to refer customers who they identify need specialist equity release advice.
Simon Thompson, chief executive of Key Retirement Group, said: “Expert advice is central to the expansion of the equity release market as it grows to meet customer demand and we are committed to supporting the growth as the market leader.
“The acquisition by Partners Group is enabling us to increase investment and Will’s expertise and experience makes him the ideal candidate to lead the expansion of the advice arm.”
Mr Hale said: “Increasing advice capacity is crucial as Key grows in response to the strong customer demand for equity release.
“The adviser recruitment will include adding significant numbers to our telephone team as well as adding more face-to-face advisers to align with anticipated regional trends in demand.
“I look forward to continuing to work closely with our corporate and intermediary referral partners and building on Key’s long track record of success in delivering consistently excellent service to an ever more diverse set of customers requiring specialist retirement lending advice.”