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Will good things come to those who wait?

It looks like the wait is finally over for Burns-Anderson as Money Portal is strongly tipped as being about to close a deal to buy the Bristol-based company.

Though neither firm is in a position to confirm negotiations are taking place, Money Marketing has good reason to believe that a purchase completion is on the horizon, and the feeling from B-A shareholders is that it is about time.

Burns-Anderson chief executive Mike Hughes has been growing the business steadily since he joined, with consecutive profits, admittedly modest ones, for the last three years’ of results since the new management team came on board.

With around 500 registered individuals in total, picking up B-A would grow Money Portal to around 1,700 IFAs, with plans for two further major acquisitions in the pipeline.

Chief executive Richard Craven told the Sage conference delegates that he believed Money Portal would run 25 per cent of the asset flows in the UK by next March.

Next week Burns is hosting its national adviser conference over in County Wicklow, so we all await the big announcement and update on financials, which may or may not clarify the situation regarding its ownership.

Either way, the firm is happy to report that a maiden dividend will be paid out to shareholders next week and it is expected that the board members will be raising a glass in its honour.

While the Institute of Financial Planning and the Personal Finance Society are in discussions about creating an independent, single standards board not everyone feels professional bodies are conducting themselves in the right way.

Whitechurch Network managing director Ian McIver says a professional body is the wrong entity to be penalising IFAs who are underperforming.

He says between the regulator and the networks there is more than adequate provision in place for maintaining standards of advice, and that the industry has more than enough “teeth”, thank you very much.

McIver says a professional body that hires and fires would not only undermine the role of the network but also that of the regulator.

He says while many in the industry have welcomed the proposals for professional bodies to police their members- in a world where membership of such a body would be mandatory- McIver believes such a policy would not work in financial services, in the way that it does with other professions.

He says: “I do not like everyone talking about the need for a professional body in order to give this industry teeth. I think it is the role of the network, or your employer, to have those teeth, carrying out the hiring and firing of its advisers if they are, or are not, up to scratch.”


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