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Ashcourt Rowan acquires Co-op IFA

Ashcourt Rowan Financial Planning has agreed to buy The Co-operative Bank’s IFA arm for an undisclosed sum.

Money Marketing first revealed in July that the The Co-op was in exclusive talks to sell its IFA arm, and also tipped that Ashcourt Rowan was the involved party.

Under the terms of the deal Ashcourt Rowan, part of Syndicate Asset Management, will acquire Co-operative Bank Independent Financial Advisers and certain CIFA assets.

Ashcourt Rowan will pay £450,000 in cash for all of CIFA’s trail commisssion receipts, with £250,000 paid on the first anniversary of completion of the acquisition and £200,000 on the second anniversary.

CIFA’s advisers, sales managers and support staff will transfer to Ashcourt Rowan on completion of the deal, expected on October 1.

CIFA’s client database and trail commission will also be transferred to Ashcourt Rowan at the same time.

CIFA has about 55,000 customers with funds invested of approximately £1bn.

It employs 52 staff, with most IFAs operating in the north of England, the midlands and south Wales. Ashcourt Rowan says this will complement its existing IFA network based in the south.

The deal will take Ashcourt Rowan’s funds under management to over £3.3bn and funds under managemnt for Syndicate’s wealth division to over £4.3bn.

Ashcourt Rowan chief executive Mark Cheshire (pictured) says: “I am delighted to add such a high calibre team of IFAs, sales managers and support staff to our business.

“They have the right balance of knowledge and experience to be able to best advise clients on the many sensitive issues that individuals and families have to address when planning for their near, mid and long-term financial futures. We believe the systems and culture that have been established within Ashcourt Rowan will provide an ideal environment in which the CIFA team and their clients can prosper.

“The acquisition is also an important step in delivering the strategic goals agreed with Syndicate for Ashcourt Rowan.”

Co-operative Financial Services managing director of retail Rod Bulmer says: “Throughout this process, we have sought an established IFA business that was committed to the market with an aspiration to retain existing CIFA client relationships. Ashcourt Rowan was assessed against our own core values and their determination to offer an excellent financial planning service made them the right choice for our IFA business.”  


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There are 9 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Very sad day for CIFA advisers and staff who believe in the values of the Coop Movement.This deal has been railroaded through, a vast majority of staff do not want this,nor were they properly consulted(told what was happening). The last offfical brief was on the 15/09/2010 where many outstanding issues were raised and not addressed. One of the major issues is what core values do they match with Coop, Ashcourt Rowan(AR) donated how much to good causes last year.(nil,zero,diddly, pence).The founder members of the Coop will be turning in their graves.As you may quess a member of CIFA who didn’t officially know the name of the potential buyer until the 15/09/2010 and only knew that their may be a sale on the 05/08/2010.This deal, (although the official stance is the best for all) does take into consideration the views of the staff.Lets see of the 51 advisers,9 sales managers and up to 27 support staff are still with AR in 6 months time.
    The offical stance is you still have employment, my question is who with,under what terms, what targets,from where….etc… Questions not answer. How unethical can you get from the company whos mission statement is to be the most admired bank in the uk and the group whos values include ‘will consult with its members and collegues’.
    Just to repeat What a very very sad day and end to career.

  2. I am an IFA with a number of years experience with CIFA. This represents the lightening conclusion of a chain of events apparently known as “consultation with our colleagues”.I cannot believe that an organisation with the Cooperatives ethical values can disregard so completely the views of the people affected. And what of our ex Supreme Leader, now a lonely figure, waving goodbye from the shoreline as we sail off into the golden future he has secured for us. What a surprise!

  3. Always look on the brightside of life 29th September 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Could have been Towry!

  4. I am also an IFA at CIFA and feel it necessary to point out the potential benefits of this deal. At CIFA we have consistently provided our clients with sound financial advice based on the Coop values and ethics. Sounds good, but you will not find a rich IFA at CIFA.
    From now on we will be able to churn as many Bonds as possible onto the Syndicate platform and this is surely an opportunity for us all to earn big bucks.
    Come on guys, the Coop have now taught us how to treat customers unfairly so use this skill to churn as much as possible before RDR.
    Thank goodness the Coop didn’t follow their own values by consulting us on this, and instructed us to tell clients that Ashcourt Rowan match the Coop values and ethics, otherwise the deal may have never gone through

  5. GBP450,000 for GBP1 billion under management???

    If the average trail is 25 bips, that is GBP2,500,000 in the first year alone.

    Looks like a steal!

  6. Dont quite understand the previous comment but AR could be in for a very big shock when they realise the quality of the client bank.
    Only way to make any money is to move it all onto their platform, who stands the best chance of persuading a skeptical client to move? the original adviser. Hence the TUPE.

  7. I am also an adviser with CIFA and share many of the views already aired. The business could not have carried on as it was, the past year has been one of the hardest in my career. Salt was rubbed into the wound to be told that a small amount of money – by comparison – could have been spent a year ago to update procedures and technology so that a proper job could be done for our clients.What happenend to TCF ? The Co-op has failed to carry through its ethics.

    I Would have liked to have been made redundant but there is no point in being bitter you do have a choice if you do not want the deal with AR find other employment !

  8. I was also a Co-op IFA. Let’s be honest about this, CFS railroaded this deal through without asking the membership if they wanted to give up their IFA arm, the clients if they wanted to be abandoned by CFS or the advisers if they even wanted to go to Ashcourt Rowan. Bankers have made the decision they wish to do away with financial advice which is why CIS is now also up for sale. I won’t deny that if this was their decision all along I would have rather they did the respectable thing and offered us all redundancy a year ago rather than the intense pressure they put us all through to reduce numbers from 120 to Circa 50 but that’s the true colours of CFS, they did it with CIS some 12 years ago when they first slashed numbers from 7,000 to 3,500 without a single redundancy (Now only about 700 in number). All that aside, Ashcourt Rowan have offered us the ability to expand our client services in a younger fitter organisation better equipped to cope with the industry changes of 2012.
    Don’t waste any more of your time on CFS, they may yet grow to regret their decision, I for one am looking forward. Give AR the chance they deserve, if it doesn’t work out, there’s plenty more offers on the table.

  9. A lot of jobs will be lost here, that model will not work when it is not connected to the bank.

    Has anyone kept a tally of the job losses throughout this industry in preperation for the RDR?

    This is catastrophic.

    I reckon we are already in to the thousands.

    Heads should roll at the FSA.

    Each few hundred advisers which go equals a cost to be divided up amongst the remainder and the remaining clients of those IFAs to foot the bill.

    This may be a lot worse than even the pessamists thought, this is only 2010, 2 full years to go.

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