Ex-Almary Green advisers form new advice brand

Almary Green managing director Carl Lamb

Two advisers from Norwich-based advice firm Almary Green have formed their own advice firm after Standard Life-owned national 1825 pulled its offer to buy the firm.

The two advisers, Fiona Sharp and Stephanie Clark, have set up Verve Financial Planning along with former Sense Financial Solutions adviser Steve Buttercase.

The three advisers will act as separate firms but share the Verve brand as appointed representatives of the In Partnership network.

Buttercase tells Money Marketing: “Having three independent businesses is working really well so far.”

Buttercase says Verve is looking to push fees “as far under 2 per cent as we can” and will focus on cost as it builds its service line up.

He says: “We want to build a ground up investment proposition that includes a reasonable suit of services that consider the total value for money of the package.”

A total of six advisers left Almary Green between March 2016, when Standard Life agreed terms for an acquisition, and November 2016, when Standard Life and Almary Green said they had “mutually agreed” to end discussions at the eleventh hour.

Almary Green hired two new advisers and replaced three paraplanners that also left the business.

Almary Green managing director Carl Lamb told Money Marketing at the time: “There is always the risk [that will advisers will leave after an acquisition] because people are free to make up their minds and exercise that choice. In any form of business plan and even without the acquisition of 1825 you have to factor in a certain amount of turnover.”

The acquisition by 1825 would have meant moving from independent to restricted status for Almary Green advisers however.

Verve’s website reads: “We are independent financial advisers, and therefore we are not tied to any one financial provider. We remain unbiased.”