SimplyBiz has bought Sifa, the trade body and support provider for solicitor IFAs.
It has invested £200,000 into Sifa, separate from the purchase, and it is prepared to make further investment. Sifa’s 170 member firms, which include over 1,000 advisers, will be brought under the SimplyBiz brand.
SimplyBiz provides compliance and support services to over 2,000 financial services firms, including 5,000 advisers.
Sifa founder Ian Muirhead, who will continue as managing director, says: “We believe the market opportunity arising out of the Legal Services Act and the RDR is bigger than Sifa could have handled effectively on its own. The extra financial muscle that SimplyBiz brings will make an impact in the solicitor market.”
The Legal Services Act comes into effect in October. It aims to make the legal market more competitive by allowing non-law firms, such as IFAs, to link up with solicitor firms and make referral arrangements.
SimplyBiz joint managing director Matthew Timmins says: “SimplyBiz has been monitoring Sifa for a number of years and we have always been impressed with the way the business is run. We want to become part of the professional community, which Sifa is uniquely well positioned to support.”
Sifa was set up in 1992 to support involvement by solicitors in financial services work. It extended its membership to accountancy IFAs in 2001.