Almary Green, the advice firm led by Carl Lamb, has confirmed a merger with Smith and Pinching Financial Services, Money Marketing can reveal.
In September Money Marketing reported Almary Green staff visited the Smith and Pinching offices, and there were discussions around a merged firm being floated on AIM.
At that time the Norwich-based firms confirmed they were exploring ways they could work together more closely in the future, but did not comment further on sale discussions.
However, Lamb has now confirmed he will join the Smith and Pinching group board and will work with managing director David Hughff and finance director Scott Pinching to develop the joint client proposition.
Lamb says: “This is great news for clients of both firms. By pooling our expertise and resources, we can bring greater choice and flexibility. For example, Almary Green clients will be given immediate access to Smith and Pinching’s highly successful discretionary investment management service.”
A source told Money Marketing Lamb will be staying on at the company for a short time to manage the transition and may then depart after.
Lamb described this as speculation.
The combined operation will have a total staff of 125 people with 35 advisers, 18 of whom have already attained individual chartered financial planner status, with more nearing qualification.
Both firms will operate from Smith and Pinching’s current Aylsham Road premises, with effect from Monday 8 October.
Almary Green’s Lowestoft services will relocate to Smith and Pinching’s Lowestoft branch – Park View Financial Planning in Mobbs Way.
Hughff adds: “This reinforces our status as one of the largest regional firms of chartered financial planners in the east of England. Our strength lies in providing chartered advice of the highest quality backed up by a team of dedicated and knowledgeable technical analysts and administrators.”
Almary Green has just over 40 staff, including around 12 advisers and nine paraplanners. It set up a new holding company in August, according to its Companies House record.
The Companies House entry shows Lamb brought out the other directors in Almary Green Investments via this holding company.
Almary Green became well known in September 2016 after Standard Life-owned 1825 ended discussions with the firm over a proposed acquisition. Several advisers left the firm since then citing concerns about the firm’s potential move from independent to restricted status by accepting the 1825 deal.
Smith and Pinching was founded in 1973 and has around 70 staff.