Chase De Vere  

Firing Line: Stephen Kavanagh

Firing Line: Stephen Kavanagh

Stephen Kavanagh is a man with a plan. A four-point strategic growth plan to be precise, which he aims to exert to help Chase de Vere flourish and grow. 

The chief executive, who took up his role seven years ago, revealed his strategy for expansion, which includes a mix of acquisitions, recruitment, affinity partnerships and organic growth.

Mr Kavanagh said acquisitions are a key area for growth and that Chase de Vere has been approached by a number of IFA firms and is actively speaking with up to three. However, it is currently performing the relevant due diligence to gauge the risks and rewards, which means it is a lengthy process.

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However, he added that advanced talks are already underway and an announcement may be made soon. 

He said “We have been in advanced talks and although I don’t yet have timescales for when any possible deals may be completed, we are making good progress. Our focus will be on quality rather than quantity, so that takes time, but an announcement should be expected soon. 

“I think part of our appeal and why so many IFA firms have expressed an interest to join us is because we are staunchly independent. We allow advisers to keep their independent tag and do not push them down a restricted advice route, which I know many do not want to go down.

“Our focus is on providing personalised face-to-face independent financial advice and we look to acquire IFA firms that fit into our ethos of putting the clients at the heart of everything.”

He added that parent company Swiss Life has been supportive in allowing Chase de Vere to grow its business through acquisitions and indicated it would provide financing for any purchases when necessary.

In fact, Swiss Life considers Chase de Vere to be a trailblazer compared to its European adviser firms and often sends advisers from Austria and Czech Republic to the UK office so they can learn their operational tips and share ideas for best practice. 

Recruitment is another ongoing area for expansion and Chase de Vere is always on the hunt for good quality advisers and support staff throughout the UK.

Chase de Vere also has plans to grow its market through its affinity partnerships. The most prominent of its current affinity partnerships is with the British Medical Association. In the past 18 months Chase de Vere has increased the number of advisers it has dedicated to working with the BMA from 37 to 63. All of these advisers have specialist knowledge and qualifications including expert knowledge of the NHS Pension Scheme.

Mr Kavanagh said: “We are proud of our work with BMA and we are aiming to add to the number of our affinity partnerships. We are actively looking for more affinity partnerships as this is an important part of our growth strategy.

“We find that potential partners value that we give independent financial advice – as opposed to restricted.”