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Network offers &#39cradle to grave&#39 deal to IFAs

Berkeley Wodehouse is planning to set up its own national IFA firm which will buy the businesses of retiring IFA members to create what it calls a cradle to the grave proposition for IFAs.

The network, which laun-ched a compliance and auditing service for non-network members in April, int-ends to raise cash for the venture by floating on Aim within 18 months.

Berkeley Wodehouse is also looking to strengthen bonds with its members and at the same time raise further capital by offering 5 per cent of its shares to members, a move it is believed a number of other networks will follow in the next few weeks.

Berkeley Wodehouse bel-ieves its close relationship with member firms gives it a natural advantage when buying them as it would already know their profitability and effectiveness.

Chief executive Malcolm Streatfield says: “Our strategy is to go forward with an IFA operation to allow retiring members to sell their business to us. Our ultimate plan is to get positioned on Aim and we are making shares available to our members so they can take an equity stake in the group. It strengthens the bond between IFAs and Berkeley Wodehouse if they feel they part own it. We want to create a cradle to the grave proposition for IFAs.”

Hulbert Financial Services proprietor Jeremy Hulbert says: “I am sure this would be an interesting proposition to younger IFAs but I am a bit further from the cradle than the grave.

“On the other hand, network members may be concerned about the conflict of interest of having the network as an IFA becoming a competitor to their own businesses.”

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