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AFH in 'significant' adviser recruitment drive

AFH in 'significant' adviser recruitment drive

AFH Financial has seen a "significant" increase in its recruitment of employed advisers in recent months, following a year of cost-cutting amid the coronavirus crisis. 

In a trading update this morning (November 17) the company, which currently employs more than 450 advisers, also suggested its recently implemented digital marketing was beginning to bear fruit with prospective clients. 

The wealth manager's deal pipeline took a backseat when the pandemic hit earlier this year, leading it to suspend its acquisition drive for the second time in 10 months. 

Instead the company has been focusing on generating organic growth based on "digital and traditional marketing methods", which it said had already delivered more meetings with prospective clients than previously estimated. 

In today's update AFH said: "The board is pleased to note that ongoing management fees have remained at the anticipated levels during the summer period and, whilst inflows of client funds remain below pre Covid-19 levels, there has been a gradual increase since May 2020 and outflows of clients' funds during the second half of the year remained at a similar level to previous periods.

"Marketing led organic growth remains the focus of the company and, following a quieter period since the first Covid-19 lockdown in March, recruitment of employed advisers has increased significantly during the last quarter and, combined with the anticipated leads from our digital marketing activities, provides the basis for further organic growth in 2021."

In September the national advice consolidator announced it had reinstated staff pay after scrambling to cut costs at the beginning of the pandemic as part of a £3m cost cutting exercise which saw "non-critical" projects placed on hold. 

But with a cash balance of £13m AFH today said it was confident the company was well positioned to manage any challenges arising from the "unsettled macroeconomic environment".

This was despite a warning in September that the impact of coronavirus restrictions and "the challenges of remotely interacting with prospective clients" had hit new business in its wealth management arm. 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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