Interim results from Lighthouse Group show how mor-ale was tested by a “murderous” business climate and a legal wrangle with nine advisers.
The firm's turnover rose although losses have gone up in what group chairman David Hickey describes as “one of the worst years ever for IFAs”.
The firm was embroiled in a legal battle with nine advisers over alleged payment pro-mises made by previous board members which was finally resolved with a combined payout of £137,000 in an out-of-court settlement and £109,000 in legal fees. Six of the advisers stayed with Lighthouse.
There had also been bad feeling among advisers recruited from RJ Temple and 30 of the 160 advisers have since left. The firm currently has 550 advisers.
Lighthouse's results for the six months to June 30 show a 36 per cent increase in turnover from £9.5m to £12.9m but a 40 per cent increase in losses from £1m to £1.4m which Hickey says is due to the acquisition of Temple.
Business was boosted by the recruitment of 34 advisers from Broadstone IFA and integration of the Temple division.
Hickey says: “It has been a murderous year. There is a lot less trust from clients than there has ever been before. They have been egged on to see if they can make a claim for misselling when there has not necessarily been anything wrong.
“The moral of the board got pretty low through all this and we have really had to keep going but things are really looking up and the moment. We have finally ach-ieved critical mass and can look to build for the future.”