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National and network numbers since RDR: Who’s up and Who’s down

Research from data firm Matrix Solutions has set out the advice firms that have gained and lost the most advisers since the introduction of the RDR, with St James’s Place emerging as the big winner. 

The latest update of Matrix’s observatory report on financial advisers outlines firm numbers based on the number of CF30 advisers and the number of registered individuals between December 2012 and September 2013.

The number of CF30 advisers denotes how many customer-facing investment advisers a company has, while RIs refers to the number of regulated individuals a firm has, which will include protection and mortgage advisers. Also, senior directors may be counted as RIs but not necessarily as CF30s.

The data shows that St James’s Place gained 379 CF30 advisers in the nine months to the end of September, with the figure rising from 2,277 to 2,656.

SJP also saw a rise of 318 RIs over the period, from 2,756 to 3,074.

Intrinsic gained the second largest number of CF30s over the nine-month period at 207, with the figure rising from 807 to 1,014. It also saw a rise of 40 in its number of RIs, from 1,243 to 1,283.

Sesame Bankhall Group’s number of CF30s increased by 71 between December 2012 and September 2013, from 924 to 995. Its number of RIs, however, fell significantly – from 1,841 to 1,644.

Sesame’s drop of 197 in RI numbers was surpassed only by Personal Touch Financial Services, which saw a fall of 212 RIs, from 626 in December to 414 in September. Personal Touch’s number of CF30 advisers rose marginally over the period, by 4 to reach 74. 

Personal Touch marketing director David Carrington says: “Ours is a much more controlled reduction in member numbers as it has been our strategy for the last year or so to reduce our number of ARs to ensure we focus on high quality business. A year ago, we had 700 member firms and today we have around 400 – but we are writing more mortgage business with those fewer advisers.”

Also recording a substantial fall in RI numbers was Lighthouse Group, which saw numbers decline from 605 to 461 over the period. Its number of CF30 advisers, however, rose by 50 to 383.

Openwork, meanwhile, saw its RI numbers fall by 142 to 1,125, but its CF30 numbers rise by 68 to 722. And Tenet’s RI numbers dropped by 101 to reach 868, while its CF30 numbers increased by 49, from 653 to 702.

Paradigm saw the number of its CF30 advisers rise from 250 to 351, while its number of RIs fell from 390 to 358.

Among the largest directly authorised adviser firms, the report shows that Aegon’s distribution arm, then including Origen and Positive Solutions, saw the largest decline in RI numbers, with the number falling from 945 to 660. It did, however, record a rise of 51 in CF30 numbers, from 595 to 646.

Aegon agreed to sell the Positive Solutions business to Intrinsic in June. 

Hargreaves Lansdown also saw a significant increase in CF30 numbers, with the figure rising by 89 – from 34 in December to 123 in September. Its RI numbers also increased, by 88 to reach 138.

Towergate was the only DA analysed by Matrix to see a fall in CF30 number from 87 to 83. The company’s number of RIs also fell from 126 to 102.

In August, data from the FCA showed the total number of IFAs and restricted investment advisers had risen by 6 per cent between the start of the RDR on 31 December 2012 and the end of July, from 20,453 to 21,684, as more advisers passed the required qualifications

Money Marketing revealed in March that the number of IFAs and restricted advisers operating on the first day of the RDR was 20 per cent lower than the number estimated by the FSA to be operating the previous year, from 25,616 to 20,453.

Click on tables to enlarge

Matrix data table 3 Oct 2013.jpg
Matrix data table 4.jpg
Source: Matrix Solutions Observatory report

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Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. No surprises there.

  2. Does anyone know how SJP gets around the cross-subsidy rules? My understanding of cross-subsidisation is that firms cannot use one part of their business to supplement another part. This article backs up my thoughts: (http://m.investmentweek.co.uk/investment-week/news/2286424/fidelity-abandons-multiasset-platform-deal-after-fca-ban), as it talks about how Fidelity was told it can’t advertise its platform as “free” because the charge is paid for by the Fidelity fund managers (so customers were paying for the platform, albeit indirectly).

    St James Place do this exact thing. They do not have “advice fees”, they only have initial charges and ongoing charges on their Unit Trusts, as you can see here: (http://www1.sjp.co.uk/funds/unit-trust-group-funds/charges-and-costs-disclosure). Therefore the fund manager arm of the business is used to provide essentially free advice to the advice arm. So does anyone know how they are allowed to do this?

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