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IFP aims for 800 CFPs after 23% rise in 2006

Institute points to a ‘natural progression’ towards financial planning in the industry.

The number of certified financial planners in the UK rose by 23 per cent last year to 637, says the Institute of Financial Planning.

Park Row has the most CFPs at 32, followed by Grant Thornton with 30 and Hargreaves Lansdown with 29.

Thinc Group, Paradigm Norton, BDO Stoy Hayward and Mazars Financial Planning are next with nine CFPs each.

The IFP’s target is to reach 800 CFPs by the end of 2007 and 28 have already been added this year.

Communications director Sue Whitbread says: “The target of 800 for the year end seems realistic to us but, of course, we cannot specify that it will be reached.

“The momentum is moving towards financial planning in the industry. We have seen an increase in people wanting to change their business model. It is a natural progression. The bigger firms are now adopting it into their service propositions.

“We are now seeing far more of the big players like JS&P Towry Law, Grant Thornton, Park Row and Hargreaves Lansdown trying to increase the number of CFPs they have.”

Park Row chief executive Peter Sprung says: “We are looking to plug away at the number of CFPs and stay at the top. Education for us is still very much the key.

“In our corporate and private clients division we aimed to have 50 advisers and take £5m by the end of 2006 but we breached this target with 62 advisers and £6.5m at the year-end.”

Hargreaves Lansdown head of financial practitioners Danny Cox says: “Our strategy is that all of our 68 financial planners will become CFPs but this will take a year or two.

“It would be a nice by-product if we became the number one financial planning firm in the UK.”

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