Firing line  

Nigel Speirs: My latest deal in the advice sector

The process for getting the new business off the ground is through buying a "small and perfectly formed" adviser business based in the City of London – MKC Wealth.

This company has seven advisers, with clients who have investable wealth on average of £400,000. Other businesses that come on board will be absorbed into the MKC brand, such as Lighthouse Carrwood, the acquisition of which was announced earlier this week.

The owner of MKC wealth, Barry Cunningham, will stay as director of client services while Rose becomes chief executive and Speirs executive chairman.

How does Speirs feel about new advisers coming in and adapting to their way of doing things?

He says: "Over the years, advisers have developed religions, they have strong beliefs based on the things they've learnt.

"Some advisers will completely believe in cash flow funding – that if you haven't got a cash plan then you can't be giving proper advice.

"Other advisers will think that's not true, and it's about talking to the client and understanding."

He adds: "Some advisers will want to pick funds still and others will want centralised investment propositions; some advisers will want to do the exact opposite of what they're being told – it's an independence play. Other people will want to be part of a team.

"Our industry has been made up of lots of individuals working on their own businesses."

Mostly, MKC, which will remain the brand of the whole company, will recruit and train new people coming in, to look after the clients left by the retiring advisers selling their business. However, advisers with the right "cultural fit" may come on board from acquired companies.

Speirs says: "What we always agree on is the relationship with the client is paramount; the adviser and client have a great intimacy – it's about how you execute that."

Melanie Tringham is features editor of FTAdviser