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Close to set up platform targeting consumers and advisers

Close Asset Management is launching a platform that will offer both direct to consumer and adviser functionality and will be powered by FNZ.

The direct to consumer side of the platform will go live in autumn and the adviser side will be available by the end of the year.

Close, which acquired national IFA firm Cavanagh last month in a £26.3m deal, says the development of the platform will cost £18m to £20m.

Close head of wealth management Steven Mendel says: “FNZ is known for the strength of its platform and its global delivery record, which is why we chose to partner with it for this build.

“We genuinely believe this platform will give the best flexibility and service to our clients.”

Mendel says the majority of clients from recently acquired IFA firms Cavanagh, Chartwell Group and Allenbridge Group will be moved onto the new proposition.
Cavanagh has made a small amount of progress in the development of its own platform, in partnership with SEI.

Mendel says: “I would expect the vast majority of clients from the newly acquired firms to migrate onto the new platform.”

In March, Close Brothers sold its trust, fund administration, asset management and banking business in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man to Kleinwort Benson Channel Island Holdings for £29.1m as it turned its attentions to developing its UK-based wealth and asset management business.

Investment Quorum chief executive Lee Robertson says: “It will be interesting to see if Close is going to compete with Hargreaves Lansdown. There were always going to be more players coming to that market and more competition can only be a good thing.”

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