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National IFA cuts network ties to go DA

National IFA Continuum Financial Services has decided to cut ties with the Caerus network to become directly authorised.

The 38-adviser firm says that with assets under influence set to exceed £1bn in the next 18 months, it has opted to go directly authorised so it can have greater flexibility over its client and adviser proposition.

The firm says it became the largest IFA within Caerus since launching in 2014, and has plans to expand digital offerings and ties with accountancy practices.

Continuum managing partner Martin Brown says: “We have several new advisers about to be appointed now that we are directly authorised and we are continuing to recruit additional high-quality IFAs to support our significant growth plans.”

Is network membership worth it?

Caerus was formed by Keith Carby, who was also instrumental in the formation of advice giants like Openwork, Tenet and Foster Denovo.

Caerus was an independently-owned network, before being bought by Quilter-owned Intrinsic last year. Sanlam had previosuly been in dicussions about acquiring a 20 per cent stake in the firm but pulled out of the deal.

Carby left the business following the completion of the deal.

Money Marketing understands that one other sizeable advice business is also currently looking to leave the Caerus network.

Continuum’s move follows the decision of some other national advice businesses like LEBC, who said they reached sufficient scale to pass on full network membership, in LEBC’s case with Tenet.


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There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Well done them. DA’s the way! You take responsibility for your own firm and your own actions and you don’t have the silly gold-plating of FCA regulations that networks indulge in for the sake of back-covering. Networks had their place. Had. I can understand why they gold plate; they have to regulate according to the lowest common denominator. That means the honest, responsible, careful and smart get overregulated, to protect the network from the liability posed by the bent, reckless, gullible and thick. I saw this repeatedly in 7 years at DBS, hence why I’ve been DA from day one.

    • DA certainly is the way if you want to be able to sell lots of toxic UCIS and/or undertake unsuitable DB transfer advice at volume, under the radar of the FCA, then shut up shop whilst leaving decent firms to meet the fall out via their FSCS levies. Maybe that’s why bent, reckless, gullible and thick individuals go DA, so they can get away with it? I am casting no aspersions on you by the way.

      Network’s aren’t for everyone, but let’s not pretend they don’t have their place. Of course they do. That’s why they exist.

      By the way, DBS were sold 17 years ago, so maybe Network propositions have moved on since then?

      • For the record, I’ve never sold a UCIS and none of our clients have been involved in any of the scams or disasters that have beset the profession in the last 15 years. I do sympathise with networks; I still have friends at Sesame (DBS as was). I understand though that Sesame is a non-investment network these days, for the very reason I’ve outlined, i.e. the liabilities are so difficult to manage. The real challenge is to get the liabilities out of the profession altogether. Recently the FCA had a moan about the drop-off in whistleblowing. Maybe one reason for that is that they are so slow to act when a whistle is blown. I’ve had personal experience of this with two cases we reported and I’ve had discussions with network heads who’ve chucked people out only to see them re-authorised via another network.

        • Whilst not ideal, it is better that individuals like that be re-authorised via a Network and be subject to (overly) close supervision, than for them to become DA and wreak carnage unabated.

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