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Funds Direct is consolidator’s choice

Simon Chamberlain’s IFA consolidator Succession Advisory Services has picked Ascen- tric’s white-label service Investment Funds Direct Limited as its platform.

IFDL will provide Succession with fund management, stockbroking and cash management as well as a choice of adviser-charging models.

Succession launched in May and says it has over £1bn of funds already committed to the platform with a target to achieve £7bn funds under management over five years.

Chief executive officer Simon Chamberlain says after extensive research into the platform market, the consolidator opted for IFDL due to its service, technology and management team.

He says: “We have over £1bn committed to the platform already so we required a wrap provider capable of supporting the transition of assets very quickly.”

The news comes after the FSA last week warned IFA firms planning to sell their firms to consolidators to avoid conflicts of interest and ensure the solution they choose is suitable for all clients.

In its small firms newsletter, says firms must manage potential conflicts of interest brought about by a consolidator’s business model, particularly when looking at wrap.

The newsletter said: “Typically the consolidator firm will put the adviser firm’s customers onto a wrap platform for ongoing servicing and the client bank at a later date. This appears to be a growing trend in the financial adviser market in particular.”

The FSA says firms transferring clients onto platforms must ensure that any added value to the adviser business from the move does not disadvantage the customer. But Chamberlain argues that conflicts of interest only arise where the platform is offering advisers incentives to transfer client assets.

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