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Positive Solutions plans growth and AFA switch

Positive Solutions has signalled that it will cease to be an IFA and become an auth-orised financial adviser.

The firm, which increased its RIs to 455 in 2001 from 227 the previous year, is planning further growth by targeting advisers in national IFAs.

Chief executive David Harrison told the AGM that Positive Solutions might brand its advice as impartial or individual if commission-based advi-sers were prevented from called themselves independent, as proposed by the FSA&#39s in its CP121 paper.

The vast majority of Positive Solutions&#39 business is conducted on a commission basis.

Positive Solutions says it intends to increase the number of its recruitment personnel to 30 from 18 by the end of the year as it trains its recruiting guns at national IFAs rather than direct salesforces. In recent months, Positive Solutions has tried to recruit advisers attending Inter-Alliance meetings with poster campaigns close to the venues.

Announcing its year-end results, the firm says it made a profit of £297,000 last year compared with a loss of £10,000 in 2000.

Turnover increased to £12.9m from £5m in 2000 while turnover per employee grew to £519,000 from £387,000 .

Harrison says: “We are effectively AFAs right now and the bulk of our people would want to stay that way. We will always lead with the idea of independent financial planning until the regulator says it is illegal. But independent, impartial or individual will fit with our vision of advising clients on the whole of the market.

“But I think that defined-fee agreements are not certain to survive the consultation. They look less of a done deal than a month ago.”

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