Openwork is to acquire 2plan Wealth Management in a bid to build its whole of market IFA capability ahead of the RDR.
The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, will see the multi-tied network acquire 100 per cent of 2plan, which has 205 advisers.
Openwork chief executive Martin Davis says he would like the number of IFAs to triple ahead of the RDR.
He says: “We would like to see 2plan with 500 to 600 advisers in the next couple of years.”
Prior to the deal Standard Life owned a 15 per cent holding in the IFA, which was launched by Chris Smallwood and Chris Davies in 2007.
2plan is to continue operating as a standalone business and the branding will remain. Openwork’s referral service, Openwork Market Solutions, will also remain unaffected.
Davis says while there will be no personnel lock-ins in place within 2plan, there will be incentive schemes to keep key people in place at the firm.
He adds that Openwork advisers who wish to become whole of market can move across to 2plan.
Davis says: “We want to provide our advisers with the option to move into the IFA market if they want to. In the post RDR world we think there will be a move from the IFA world to restricted advice and as the biggest restricted player in the UK we want to give advisers the option to become independent as soon as possible.”
2plan Wealth Management chief executive Chris Smallwood says: “It became obvious that our future strategies with Standard Life were becoming misaligned.
“We are a young ambitious firm that has only been trading for three years and we think we have found a partner that will offer us support to help us grow faster than before.”