Corporate Planning Group is set to attack the high-net worth individual
market by offering all the services required under one umbrella.
CPG's business model is based on bringing in clients through the many
faces of the 10 companies that make up the group and steering them to the
relevant company when the opportunity arises.
The project is the development of Dorset-based Corporate Planning, a firm
set up by chief executive David Tuson in 1981, targeting small and medium
sized enterprises and high-net-worth individuals.
Tuson, who was on the board of Inter-Alliance when it floated on Aim last
year, plans to see the expansion strategy increase the group's consultants
from six to 200 in three years by recruiting people from accounting,
banking and legal backgrounds as well as IFAs.
The firm operates on the understanding that cross-fertilisation of ideas
and expertise is the way to offer highnet-worth clients added value in a
way that is not presently widely available. Tuson says: “I believe good
salesmen in the main are poor technicians and good technicians are poor
salesmen. We want technicians and salespeople in the same branch.”
Tuson, who has focused on training throughout his career, has developed
distance-learning training products to shape the consultants the group will
The 10 companies within the group are an IFA, a venture capitalist, a
business consultancy, a Guern-sey-based offshore IFA, an online advice
facility, a joint venture specialist, a portfolio manager, a valuation
company, an employee benefits consultancy and a mergers and acquisit-ions
At present, the portfolio manager, valuation company and mergers and
acquisitions company are yet to be rolled out. But CPG has raised
£2.8m of new equity capital from private investor clients to fund the
group's expansion and has just opened a new Teesside office, with a further
17 offices planned for the UK.
CPG plans to raise further investment from institutions in the autumn,
with a view to a listing on Aim next spring.
Tuson is joined on the board by CPG chairman Nicholas Morant, who was
previously managing director, investment banking at Nikko Europe, and group
managing director Chris Robinson, who was formerly sales director of the
appointed representative division with Prudential.
The group's strategy is clearly aimed at the high end of the market, with
no clients worth less than £1m. It boasts that its average earnings
per year for a new client is 10.3 times that of the industry average of
£1,200, and says it will not look at new clients who will generate
less than £10,000 in the first year.
This is clearly nice work if you can get it but it will remain to be seen
if the formula can be maintained for 200 registered individuals in 18
offices across the UK.
Tuson believes the group's strategy of generating new clients from
personal recommendations, corporate seminars, professional briefings and
joint ventures with accountants and solicitors will fuel the expansion.
He says: “We are IFAs by default. Our financial services business comes
from our non-regulated business. The 10 companies make the full business
cycle. Any individual will need two or three of the companies.”
Forty per cent of CPG's work is regulated and 60 per cent is non-regulated.
The group generates the majority of its income through fees, with 60 per
cent in fees and 40 per cent in commission. The fees are claimed to be
self-funding, standing at 5 per cent of money saved for the client,
although commission remains an option.
It believes the most difficult challenge it faces is getting people to
think about bottom-line profit rather than commission. The idea is to have
everyone on fees at CPG.
The firm is clear that it is not an IFA, saying it is a corporate
consulting group that happens to have an IFA as part of the group. But, for
the business model to develop as genuinely different from an IFA, it will
need to show clear expertise in a number of fields, which will be no mean
But Tuson anticipates more high-level boardroom appointments soon and
believes that his team can effectively reproduce the formula across the