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Mutual network halfway to launch target

Fledgling mutual network Transparent has received the backing of 64 IFAs within two weeks of its initial two-month launch period, giving it more than half the 100 advisers it needs to become operational in October.

The network says it has distributed 1,500 information packs to IFAs and is confident it will receive the necessary support to launch later this year.

The network, which has the backing of law firm ProAct Legal Solicitors, says it aims to satisfy IFA demands for a fixed-fee network with member equity ownership and input. Although day-to-day management of the network will be carried out by a board of directors, ProAct says it aims to leave key strategic choices in the hands of members, who will be required to pass decisions by a majority.

The costing model is based on a fixed fee per RI, calculated according to the number of RIs per member firm. The network plans to open individual bank accounts for members, enabling them to receive commission direct.

One IFA and potential member says: “Since CP121, we have been looking at our future and this is the only way as a small to medium-sized IFA that we can have control of our destiny. The only other option is going directly regulated, which could be like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.”

ProAct partner Gareth Fatchett says: “It is very interesting with the market changing so rapidly that IFAs want to get back to mutual membership operations. They are tired of having their own values sold from underneath them.”

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