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Heartland offers RIs chance to buy stake in the company

This week marks the 10th anniversary of Black Wednesday, the day on which Britain crashed out of the European exchange rate mechanism. The £ was suspended from the ERM on September 16, 1992 after just two years following its failure to remain within the currency band and under pressure from Germany, who wanted it devalued.

National IFA Heartland Independent has embarked on a capital-raising exercise by offering its 180 RIs the opportunity to buy a stake in the company.

The privately-owned IFA is offering its advisers the chance to invest in 10 per cent of the business.

Heartland has valued itself at £25m, which it reduced to £15m because of the current market conditions, meaning £1.5m in equity is available to its RIs.

Chief executive Tony Weaver says the move comes after the IFA rejected a number of approaches from product providers looking to invest in the company.

He says both the management and the staff were wary of the motives behind the offers from providers and were not willing to sacrifice their independence.

Weaver says providers are busy trying to guess which direction the market is heading in and he does not believe they know where they are going with a lot of the recent purchases and investments.

Since Heartland was founded with two advisers in Birmingham in 1995, it has grown at a phenomenal rate, expanding to 180 RIs with offices in St. Albans, Cardiff and Nottingham.

Weaver says: “Our advisers do not want change. A lot of our advisers are not sure if they know if the insurance companies themselves know where they are going.”

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