Standard Life flexes financial planning arm

Standard Life is seeking to grow a financial planning business of 'significant scale'. Picture: Neil Hanna
Standard Life is seeking to grow a financial planning business of 'significant scale'. Picture: Neil Hanna
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The financial planning division of Standard Life is to buy an adviser that looks after about £400 million of assets.

The Edinburgh-based life and pensions giant said the acquisition of East Anglian business Almary Green would help accelerate its ambition to build a nationwide financial planning business of “significant scale”.

Standard Life launched its advice business, called 1825, following last year’s purchase of Pearson Jones, the wealth management arm of Skipton Building Society. It said the move came amid “unprecedented” demand for advice from clients.

READ MORE: Standard Life looks to past for planning arm

Almary Green, which provides personal advice to 1,900 clients, was founded by managing director Carl Lamb in 2001. The firm, which is headquartered in Norwich and serves the East Anglian region, has 44 employees, including 22 advisers and paraplanners.

When the takeover completes, Standard Life will have more than 50 financial planners advising 7,000 clients on about £2 billion of assets.

Lamb, who will continue to head the business and will join 1825’s executive committee, said: “The changing pension landscape and its inherent opportunities and risks have created a huge need for quality advice.

“As an industry, we need to bring advice to a wider audience and to change the advice model accordingly. Our challenge as a firm has been to scale up our business to meet the demand, ensuring we have the resources to provide cutting edge service and advice to clients and, at the same time, tackle the issues brought about by increasing regulatory requirements and costs.”

He added: “I truly believe that joining 1825 will give us the best foundation and resources to continue to rise to that challenge.”

1825’s acquisition of Almary Green is expected to complete in the first half of this year, subject to regulatory approval.

Chief executive Steve Murray said: “Today’s announcement continues to accelerate our ambition to build a nationwide financial planning business of significant scale through organic growth and the acquisition of progressive financial planning firms who are aligned with our values and vision.

“Almary Green is a very welcome addition, bringing a team of talented, professional and dedicated individuals with a core focus on delivering positive outcomes for clients.”