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BBB merges IFA arms in bid to reduce capital deficit

Berkeley Berry Birch is merging the two arms of its nat- ional IFA business, Berry Birch & Noble Financial Planning and Weston.

The group says the manoeuvre is part of plans to satisfy the FSA that it is making provisions to reduce its capital adequacy deficit, currently 11m. It stresses that no other part of the business will be affected.

The amalgamated IFA firm, BBNFP Weston, will become an appointed representative of the Berkeley Independent Advisers network after the company’s fund-raising is complete.

The group’s interim results, published last week, show that no provision has yet been made for expected redundancies arising from the merger but that provisions will be included in the group’s full results.

BBNFP has around 90 RIs while Weston has around 60. Following the merger, BBB non-executive director Jonathan Hall expects around half the BBNFP advisers to leave, not wishing to move to a self-employed model.

Hall says: “Whenever a restructure takes place, there is always an anticipated fallout. But any advisers who are nearly profitable under a directly employed model should be even more profitable if they move to self-employed.”

Unity Independent Financial Planning director Jon Willis says: “As far as we can tell, Cliff Lockyer is finally getting his house in order.”

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