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Foster Denovo to roll out robo to aid expansion

Foster Denovo to roll out robo to aid expansion

Foster Denovo is looking at robo-advice as it signs financial advice deals with ever-larger companies.

The company, which provides employee benefits and financial advice, works with some businesses to provide its employees with advice.

Chief executive Roger Brosch said Foster Denovo’s “sweet spot” is normally businesses with 500 to 1,000 employees but it is currently in talks with a business in Scotland to provide advice to its workforce of several tens of thousands.

But he said that in some larger businesses this increased the number of employees who might not be able to afford advice, saying this was an “area of concern”.

Mr Brosch said: “We run up to seven workshops and people select the workshops that are relevant for them. We will point them in the direction of the Money Advice Service but obviously we make the costs very clear and we would provide advice for those that can afford it.

“Some of the larger firms we are talking to do have an awful lot of staff who might find it difficult and we are keen to develop a service with a higher level of automation.

“We are in conversation with a number of suppliers at the moment.

“Most of what I see out there is very specific to an investment and savings requirement. We are looking for something a bit more holistic.”

Last month Mr Brosch revealed his company had secured funding for acquisitions through a deal with a third party, but he said he could not reveal who it was yet.

He said: “We feel we have got to get a good platform for growth and we have found some third party investment that is very keen to help us achieve that.

“We are not a consolidator. We are not going to be buying 15 businesses a year. We are all about buying going concerns.

“At the moment we are very south east-based and as much as we do have advice capability in Newcastle and the south west we are looking for a wider geographic footprint and we are talking to a number of businesses.”

Mr Brosch said the business is more interested in buying businesses from advisers who want to continue working, rather than those who are about to retire.

damian.fantato@ft.com