Consumer fund supermarket Ample will be developed into an extensive wrap platform and rolled out to IFAs following its acquisition by Tomas Carruthers, the former chief executive of Interactive Investor.
Carruthers, who helped Interactive Investor through its 1991 acquisition by AMP and subsequent merger with Ample, has paid an undisclosed sum for the business which he intends to develop into an IFA-focused platform. This will involve building up an open architecture offering and developing wrap products and services purely for the intermediary market.
The move will be a radical departure for Ample which, although it has 1.4 million registered users and 400,000 portfolio holders, was put up for sale by HHG, the recently formed firm comprised of Australian giant AMP's UK businesses.
Carruthers says the Ample brand will remain for the foreseeable future but could be changed once the purchasing company, Carruthers Associates, completes its strategic review at the end of March.
The conclusion of the review will also mark the start of an aggressive push into the IFA market. Carruthers Associates is in discussions with a number of high-end firms.
The firm, which Carruthers founded to acquire Ample, will use institutional backing to fund the expansion which will focus solely on intermediated services as the consumer side will remain the same. But Carruthers says that, until the outcome of the review is known, he does not know whether the business will be placed in direct competition with firms such as Cofunds.
He says: “We believe the advice market is the way to go and we will offer products and services to it. It will be a big push for us and we will have a great capability but it is too early to say which firms we will be competing against.”