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&#39Life offices will buy up all IFA networks&#39

IFA networks will all be bought by life companies looking for cheaper distribution within the next five years, with the Misys networks likely to be sold in the next 12 months, forecasts leading industry commentator Graeme Laws.

Speaking at the Matrix Data Brave New World seminar in London last week, former National Mutual deputy managing director Laws predicted that Misys will be bought by a life company, with others, such as Tenet and Burns Anderson, following suit.

He describes the IFA sector as a “regulatory construct” that will be rapidly bought up by providers looking to cheaper distribution methods once the better than best rules are removed.

Laws believes the multi-tie concept is dead and that after depolarisation IFA firms will attach themselves to single product providers while offering a limited range of products.

Laws says: “Inhumane rules have left advisers weak, feeble and helpless. The small IFA is history because fixed costs are now crippling. They can and will sell out lock, stock and two smoking pension misselling barrels.”

Misys spokesman Martin Davis says: ” We firmly believe the future of networks is secure. The bottom line is we are going towards flotation next year and this is how we are planning to raise funds. A well-run network will always be able to work its way through a challenging market.”

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