7IM director Justin Urquhart Stewart says Zurich has one or two partners in mind but discussions are at an early stage. He says: “It could be a distribution firm, an insurance company and it might not be listed in the UK.”
A spokeswoman for Zurich says: “Zurich is a strong supporter of independence and believes that intermediaries should have access to the whole of the market in order to service their clients needs. 7IM is widely respected as one of the best independent online wrap platforms in the market.
“We can confirm that we have no plans to increase our stake in 7IM. Our long-term strategy is to have more people invest in 7IM and as a consequence our own share may be diluted.”
Last summer, Zurich and Aegon bought Killik & Co’s stake in 7IM, with Aegon taking 15 per cent and Zurich 49 per cent. 7IM management owns the other 36 per cent.
7IM has 63 companies on its Tethys platform with assets under management of over £300m, including nine whitelabel agreements. It is currently in talks on white-labelling Tethys for Cumb-rian adviser firm FMB.