'Why our advice consolidator has a unique position in the market'

'Why our advice consolidator has a unique position in the market'

The head of a new adviser consolidator has said the company occupies a unique position in the market.

Matthew Bugden, chief executive of One Four Nine Group, told FTAdviser he saw an opportunity in succession planning for adviser firms.

“What we saw was that there is an area of the financial services market not being serviced or not being serviced with the necessary empathy or aplomb,” he said.

“Essentially, we set ourselves up to help advisers with their succession planning.”

One Four Nine is a consolidator targeting accountancy firms and other professional services firms that own or have a joint venture with financial advice firms, as well as stand alone financial advisers, particularly those with an interest in recommending tax efficient alternative investments, such as EISs and VCTs.

The firm has already bought Charter Financial Planning and Rice Whatmough Crozier, two financial advice firms totalling seven advisers and £300m in assets under management and servicing 700 clients.

Bugden said: “We understand the dynamic that exists between accountants and financial planners, whether they own their own firm or not.

“I think we've got a unique position in the market.”

One Four Nine also focuses on advisers who offer tax efficient investments to clients (such as VCTs or EISs).

'No car crashes'

“The third type of adviser where we're interested in is those that see the benefit of our own in-house fund management solution,” Bugden said.

The group already has a discretionary fund manager, One Four Nine Portfolio Management, which offers active, passive and sustainable model portfolios to clients.

“We invested time and money to build the DFM first, rather than buying a load of firms and then deciding it's a great idea to have our own in-house solution,” he said.

Bugden said the problem with creating a DFM after developing the consolidator is that the advisers you’ve taken on might not like what you’ve built.

“By building the fund management solution first, we can articulate what that proposition looks like to advisers that might want to come on board, so we don’t have a car crash 24 months down the road,” he added.

Bugden also highlighted the support consolidators can give to younger advisers.

“Part of being a larger firm like [us] enables us to coach train younger professional adviser to to provide some of that succession planning for the firm's that we acquire.”

He said in the firms the group has already bought, there are a few younger advisers in the team.

“We can bring them together in a national framework where we can put our arms around them and give them some extra help, motivation, coaching, guidance and insight.

“[It is] difficult to achieve that in a smaller, regional firm.”