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New Openwork chief says network may offer two-tier model

Newly appointed Openwork chief executive Martin Davis says the network may offer an IFA proposition to advisers as well as its current multi-tied strategy.

Yesterday Openwork revealed that Davis would be replacing former chief executive Keith Carby with immediate affect. Davis says the decision came after Carby met with the Openwork board.

He says: “Keith had a clear view of where we were going as a business, but when you look at the economic and regulatory environment the reality is the strategy needed a new focus. Keith had a discussion with the board and that resulted in him moving on.”

Davis says Openwork will have to change its structure as the RDR takes affect. He predicts the new regulation will split up the adviser sector in as much as some advisers will want to offer a more complete IFA proposition while others may choose to narrow their range as tied advisers.

He says: “As a result, Openwork will have to sit in the middle – a large number of advisers will migrate in one direction and then a large number will migrate in the other. We need to start developing our model so we can support both groups explicitly.”

Davis says the relationship between Openwork and Zurich will also develop as its new plan is formulated: “We need to form a vision and a view as to where the market is going and then have a conversation with Zurich and ask them if they up for supporting us.”

Currently Zurich is a 25 per cent preferential shareholder in the group, with the other 75 per cent owned by Openwork members and employees.

Davis says: “My understanding is that Zurich are open to discussions about how the arrangement could be structured in the future.”

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