Millfield Group is launching a new division, Millfield Associated Partnerships, as part of ambitious plans to grow the national IFA over three years.
From June 1, Millfield says MAP will create a blueprint for the industry by letting the company expand through taking equity stakes in small IFA firms while avoiding the risks and costs involved in fully acquiring firms. In return, IFA firms targeted by MAP will receive an equity share in the new division.
It aims to grow MAP to 50 firms and 350 advisers by 2004.
Millfield believes that taking a stake in smaller firms will help them grow and cope with increasing industry pressures such as reduced margins, increased consolidation, new complex products and lower commission levels.
MAP will carry out due diligence checks on targeted IFAs wanting to be part of the group. It will work out three-year business plans with them, decide how much it wants to invest in the firm and what level of equity the firm will take in MAP.
Firms becoming part of MAP will have to use Millfield corporate branding while Millfield will take responsibility for training, compliance, marketing and IT support.
Millfield says MAP firms retain ownership of their clients and are free to leave at any time, which it claims distinguishes it from IFA networks.
Northern Ireland-based IFA Armstrong Anderson Partners, with 14 advisers, is the first firm to become part of MAP.
MAP national development director Mike Ahern says: “MAP offers independents a way to continue to grow their business both in capital value as well as turnover and to benefit from the support, technical and product expertise as well as regulatory responsibility provided by Millfield.”