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JO Hambro to set up branded IFA group

Private-client fund manager JO Hambro is bidding to launch a new IFA with the aim of grabbing 10-20 per cent of the market over the next five years.

JO Hambro, which has £900m under management, is looking to recruit up to 95 IFAs for its new company, called JO Hambro Financial Brands.

It needs to raise £7m from investors to bankroll the new IFA company.

According to a private offer document obtained by Money Marketing, JO Hambro Financial Brands will aim to "create a branded independent advisory and broking business in personal financial services".

The document says: "The IFAs and other brokers are highly fragmented and no single one of them has been able to grasp the opportunity to build a large, branded personal financial services group."

Its targets for the launch include taking about 1 per cent of the IFA market by 1999 and around 10 per cent by 2003, backed by major marketing and PR campaigns.

JO Hambro Financial Brands is headed by Rupert Robson, a former corporate financier at J Henry Schroder.

The new company will aim to offer a one-stop personal financial service, including life and pension products, asset allocation and banking services and tax planning.

If successful, the company projects that it could have a turnover of over £23m and profits of £5m within five years.

It is looking to recruit IFAs and will offer a salary, bonuses linked to performance and persistency rates as well as shares in the business, but not commission.

Robson says: "The aim is to recruit people who will give advice first and foremost as distinct from being a salesman. We would want a service rather than a sales culture."

He says financing will come from venture capitalists, private investors and institutions.

Hogg Robinson Financial Services managing director Roger Westwood says: "Yes, there is a strong demand for quality advice but whether the customer will lend themselves to such a marketing-driven approach remains to be seen."

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