One gets a feeling that there is a bit of a reshuffle going on in terms of distribution in retail financial services. It isn’t reflected in lots of takeovers but there are still some very interesting deals and reorganisations happening.
Simply Biz buys Defaqto for £74.3m. The move is fascinating not just for the price that a research and ratings business can command but also that an IFA network and support firm is interested in buying it. Ken Davy and his senior management team were always good at spotting the business opportunity.
It contrasts with the trials and tribulations for what might be called the pure financial publishing sector.
Tenet has reported a 13 per cent increase in earnings to £2.5m. The reports say that the firm’s full accounts are due to be published by Companies House shortly, but it has provided headline figures of £167.8m for turnover and £1.6m for pre-tax profit.
Clearly profit remains relatively low for size of turnover. But a profit is a profit and I think it is important for the whole infrastructure of advice that these network and support services firms do well.
It is also interesting that the firm believes its PI offer has helped it cope with an otherwise relatively difficult market.
Prudential will launch its ‘self-employed’ The Advice Partnership from Prudential later this year. It will invite the top 30 advisers from its 375 strong adviser team. It is certainly interesting that given SJP’s success lots of big providers are trying to emulate them. Is this still a direct salesforce?
Consultant Clive Waller says that contingent charging will always lead to bad advice. The article has caused a few ructions online.
Calvert Duffy the former Australian regulator says that senior bankers could go to jail following the Royal Commission final report.
The fascinating thing for me is that the issues in Australia are somehow so similar and so very different. The criticisms reached almost every aspect of what would loosely be called retail financial services covering investment, retirement, protection and mortgage advice.
There must be lessons to learn for the UK even though direct comparisons don’t quite work.