Financial planner in joint venture with lawyers

Financial planner in joint venture with lawyers

Yorkshire-based financial planner Kevin Ferriby has entered into two joint ventures with legal firms to help provide a more holistic service for his clients.

Describing it as "exciting times" Mr Ferriby, managing director of Hessle-based Informed Financial Planning, said setting up the joint ventures "took a lot of time and a lot of work" but added it would be more than worth it for his clients.

Mr Ferriby - who claimed to be the second person in the UK to receive chartered financial planner status - said he had started the process of entering into joint ventures with East Yorkshire-based Quality Solicitors Lockings and Lincolnshire-based Bridge McFarland nearly three years ago.

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He told FTAdviser: "We have liked the idea of doing a joint venture with law firms for a long while, and we have worked with both of these firms for many years so it seemed like a perfect opportunity.

"A joint venture brings benefits to each party. For us at Informed Financial Planning, it brings new business and more clients, while it helps the legal practices provide a more rounded service for their clients, and satisfy a wider range of needs.

"It also sets us and them out as being different to our competition. We operate in a competitive world and there is a need to differentiate ourselves."

According to Mr Ferriby, although these are the first joint ventures Informed Financial Planning has done with other professional firms, he said it was a "natural" progression.

He added: "Throughout the history of the businesses we have worked closely with the accountancy and the legal professions, and it is just the next step in that we've now got a legal agreement."

In February, the executive director for policy at the Solicitors' Regulation Authority (SRA), Crispin Passmore, said solicitors needed to work more closely with financial planners to provide a more holistic service.

Speaking at a lunch celebrating the 25th anniversary of Sifa, the body which brings together solicitors and IFAs, Mr Passmore said: "Just as Sifa has a long history of bringing professionals together, we hope what the SRA is doing will do this too."

At the time, Ian Muirhead, founder of Sifa and chairman of the body, said: "The time has never been more propitious for interaction between legal and financial services professionals."

Mr Ferriby said any financial planner considering a joint venture with a legal or accountancy firm should bear in mind three things. He said: 

  • Prepare to be patient.
  • Make sure you have all the decision makers on side.
  • Be careful about the kind and particular about the type of firm you are going to approach.

"You are looking for firms which are a bit more entrepreneurial - for example, those without 20 or more partners all of whom will want a say in the joint venture - and which have a client base you are likely to be interested in", he explained.