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Russell sets out restricted plans for On-line Partnership

Global asset manager Russell Investments has outlined restricted advice plans based around its multi-asset portfolios after acquiring the parent company of the In-Partnership and Whitechurch networks.

Russell Investments, which has over £152bn in assets under management, has acquired the On-line Partnership Group for an undisclosed sum. The IFA group is made up of 600 advisers, two thirds of which are investment advisers.

Negotiations between the two firms first began in January with both firms saying the deal was driven by a desire to develop a restricted proposition, although it will continue to offer an IFA service as well. 

Russell Investments says its restricted offering will be based around its own multi-manager portfolios, which it says are underpinned by whole of market research.

Managing director of retail and partnerships Greg Stark says: “We are acquiring a firm of independent advisers and it is important they can remain independent. Members will not be compelled to change the way they do business. 

“There are a growing number of advisers in the industry and in the network that are looking for a restricted service. We are in the process of building a restricted proposition based upon Russell’s multi-manager, multi-asset portfolios.”

On-line Partnership Group chief executive Kevin McDonagh says it is “impossible” to anticipate how many advisers will become restricted. 

He says: “Russell and ourselves are absolutely committed to independence, however if advisers want to go restricted then they will.”

He adds the firm may look to acquire more advice firms in the future.

Russell Investments says it may also look to develop a direct-to-consumer offering which can be used by advisers. 

Stark says: “We believe the biggest gap is for high quality, comprehensive advice which is delivered face-to-face and we are focusing on that at the moment. As for the more transactional clients, there is an idea in the back of our minds that there may be an opportunity, working with advisers.” 

Murphy Wealth associate partner Adrian Murphy says: “Russell will have to think quite carefully about how it brands the network given the FCA’s position on whole of market restricted.”

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