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Creation or extinction

Why did Millfield merge with Inter-Alliance? Simple. Those who are not creating the future are protecting the past. Companies that do not evolve are signing up for extinction.

Stability is bad news for all companies – especially young, dynamic companies such as ours. On the other hand, change gives people the opportunity to advance far more rapidly.

For a company to create the future – to be a shaper of that future rather than a follower of it – you need to have winning strategies. We already had those. You also need genuine size and scale. This is what the mer-ger will give us.

Separately, Millfield and Inter-Alliance are two very good companies. By merging, we will create a great company. The new comp-any will have 1,800 advisers and an infrastructure capable of becoming the best in the industry. It is more than that, though. It is about taking the very best from both organisations and melding them into one.

Part of our plan over the next six months will be to create a new group which is strong in every area of the business.

We are aided in that by the quality of the people in both companies. We have a shared vision of providing advisers, employees and clients with outstanding service through honesty and integrity, thereby building long-term relationships with them. We both believe in shared information, open communication and networking. That model will underlie our new group.

It is clear that the financial advisory industry is shrinking. The days of the one-person IFA firm, if not over, are certainly limited. Some small firms may be able to survive. However, the crippling impact of soaring PI cover, the FSCS compensation levy and other outgoings, coupled with the need to provide ever more rigorous compliance, IT, infrastructure and administrative back-up, mean that many smaller firms have to spend most of their time and resources on activities unrelated to meeting client needs and generating fee/commission income. We will see more consolidations, mergers and takeovers.

To be a real player, you need critical mass. That is what the new Millfield Group has. We also have scale, quality and discipline – which will all prove vital to our success.

First, let us consider scale. We are now the bigg-est independent financial advisory company in the UK. No individual or corporate client is beyond our reach.

Second, quality. Our advisers and employees are the best I have ever worked with in a long career in financial services.

Third, discipline. Everyone would like to be the best. Most organisations lack the discipline to be the best. Great companies get through the bad times because of their discipline which also makes them better placed to enjoy the good times when they come along.

Millfield Group has many highly disciplined individuals, both employees and advisers. Some of the work we will do in the next year will be about putting those people onto our biggest opportunities.

The new company is big business. We are now up there with the big players. We have fantastic core competencies and we will create even more as we go forward.

The transition from two companies to one will not happen overnight. We int-end, though, to ensure it is done with as little disruption as possible.

Change is often unsettling. It is also imperative for companies wishing to be more successful. I want both Millfield and everyone involved in it to be more successful than ever before. I want us to be able to serve our advisers and employees more effectively than ever before. I want a brand name that everyone respects.

That will not happen overnight. However, the merger has leapfrogged us to star billing in the industry. We now have to deliver a successful integration, massively improved services, continuing recruitment, turnover and profitability.

In the next 24 months, I expect us to have 1,000 IFAs and 2,000 multi-tie advisers in a disciplined, tightly knit organisation offering outstanding advice and services to clients.

That will create more opportunity than ever bef-ore, with fantastic opportunities for anyone prepared to work hard and show initiative.

Paul Tebbutt chief executive designate of the new Millfield group

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