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16 % of IFA directors to exceed retirement age next year

The IFA sector is likely to be hit by another round of consolidation next year as 16 per cent of IFA directors will exceed retirement age, according to Plimsoll.

Research by the industry analysis firm reveals a wave of retirements will flood the financial sector next year, “driving a number of firms to reconsider their independence”.

Plimsoll also estimates that 5,000 jobs could be under threat in the IFA sector as businesses come under pressure to reduce costs in line with sales.

The research firm sent out a warning to 161 heavily indebted IFAs which it says are now paying the penalty comparing their “high risk strategy” with the 834 companies running their businesses debt free, many with cash surpluses.

The same study is now encouraging IFAs to reduce their costs and accept their current level of business activity to take advantage of market opportunities in 2009, despite business levels remaining stagnant next year

According to Plimsoll, one firm’s failure during 2009 will be vital to another IFA’s own success. The study says: “2009 will be a very exciting year for the industry, it will be a time to choose your enemy wisely. Going on the offensive may well be the best defence. Key to this is the successful targeting of your weakened, low margin and heavily indebted competitors, their failure will be vital to your own company’s success.”

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