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Positive Solutions shelves flotation

Positive Solutions has abandoned plans to float on the stockmarket but is setting up a technology and admin company called Platform in April.

Financing plans have not been finalised but Aegon is expected to take a stake in the business. No other product providers will be invited to invest.

Platform was revealed last week at the national IFA’s partner forum at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel before many of its 1,554 advisers.

Flotation was expected to take place in 2010 and would have seen Positive Solutions’ partners share in an Aegon-funded £80m cash pot, subject to hitting targets under PosSol’s Partnership scheme . This was launched last October but has been axed and points accrued will transfer into share options in the new company.

Chief executive Neil Johnson says Platform will be positioned as a separate entity, aware of possible reluctance from advisers if it launched under a Positive Solutions or Aegon banner.

Johnson says: “We are confident that Platform will be self-financing eventually. It will certainly break even and will likely offer a more profitable option for IFAs because this is based on transactions made rather than assets held.”

Executive chairman David Harrison will be performing two roles in the interim, retaining his Positive Solutions duties while leading Platform.

Harrison says the market is becoming more fragmented, with consolidation failing because of the lack of a common distributor platform.

1st executive chairman Rory Curran says: “David is talented and has done well but making the announcement is one thing and it is far more difficult to set these things up in reality. I do not think he will be able to mandate the technology in the same way to the wider market.”

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