Canada Life  

Wave of consolidation 'primed to grip' advice market

Wave of consolidation 'primed to grip' advice market

A financial services giant has warned the advice market is braced for a "fresh wave" of consolidation as advisers come under increasing pressure from market risks.  

In its latest research published today (October 2) Canada Life predicted change was "primed to grip" the industry in reaction to the growing pressures of regulation, economic volatility and cybercrime. 

In a survey of 185 advisers conducted in June a third said they were considering selling their business and two in five anticipated the sale would be to a larger company. 

Neil Jones, tax and wealth specialist at Canada Life, said the figures showed a "clear signal" advisers are feeling under pressure which is catalysing change in the industry.

Mr Jones said: "When they look at the future, advisers who are looking to sell expect to be acquired by a larger organisation, rather than merge with a smaller firm.

"In short, the industry looks set for a fresh wave of consolidation. The benefits of scale are clear, but it may also be possible for advisers to gain some of those benefits by forming networks and strategic alliances."

Canada Life's research also found almost two in five advisers were considering withdrawing from certain markets in the advice industry, a sentiment which has bubbled to the surface of the defined benefit transfer sector in recent months as a result of increasing regulation and rocketing professional indemnity insurance premiums in the area. 

In fact minutes from a meeting at the regulator in February show its board backed the rise to the Financial Ombudsman Service's compensation limit, which is widely attributed with triggering the indemnity premium increases, because it could create a more focused advice market. 

Since then a number of advisers have left or restricted their work in the defined benefit market, including LEBC, which voluntarily gave up its permissions in September following a review of its advice by the FCA, and Sanlam, which asked advisers in its network to stop doing transfer work last month

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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