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Safety in numbers?

There looks to be an increasing amount of consolidation on the horizon with Sumus having just made its latest acquisition, announced along with its six-monthly results.

The newest addition to the stable that comprises Falcon Group, support service provider Financial Synergies and network Financial Services Advice & Support is Deverill Black, a two-RI firm based in Bristol that has turnover of over £921,000 and pre-tax profits of £347,000. It holds net assets of £153,000 and is looking like a tidy pick-up for the group.

Sumus bought just over half ­ 50.1 per cent – of the business for £750,000 in cash and shares earlier this week.

Chief executive Allan Rosengren says he is excited about the prospect of buying up more small firms like this, demonstrating the profitability of a small, but perfectly formed IFA business.

Sumus had not ruled out the acquisition of larger groups either but is confident that it will not be acquired itself but is on the lookout for other groups to further its growth plans.

The group reported a successful half-year with a 40 per cent profit increase over half a million profit and a 100 per cent increase in revenue, to £14m.

Also on the hunt for more firms, more advisers and more business is Thinc Group, which recently picked up half of the former LV= sales force that were set to move to Lighthouse after ‘the company formerly known as Liverpool Victoria’ turned down the opportunity to move from an employed contract to self employed status.

While Thinc is confident other acquisitions and group recruitment deals are in the pipeline, Lighthouse says it is unfazed, with chief executive Malcolm Streatfield saying it was no great surprise that many of the advisers looked
for another salaried offering, but he was at least pleased to retain some of them.

Meanwhile Burns-Anderson IFA has pushed its offering up the road by opening an office in Cardiff Bay. The IFA arm of the network was set up from the Bristol HQ in October 2005 under the guidance of chartered financial planner Nick Scarrett.

The intention is to offer support to its network members in providing holistic financial advice and in doing so boost the value embedded within their businesses.

This latest move into another region indicates that things are ticking over nicely while the network numbers remain strong.

And we couldn’t possibly let another week go by without mentioning the widescale outrage that we have been hearing regarding the demise of the menu and the IDD.

Most advisers are of the mind set that it is yet another farce, yet another U-turn, in fact, yet another item of evidence that their FSA fees are not going to best use.


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