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SimplyBiz plans IFA acquisition matchmaking service

SimplyBiz is devising a service to match member IFAs looking to sell their businesses with possible acquirers

SimplyBiz plans IFA acquisition matchmaking service

SimplyBiz is devising a service to match member IFAs looking to sell their businesses with acquirers, New Model Adviser® can reveal.

The support services provider is recruiting personnel to help run the new service, which it aims to launch by the end of 2019.

SimplyBiz joint chief executive Matt Timmins (pictured) told New Model Adviser® many of its member firms were wary of selling to consolidators.

He said: 'What happens a lot with consolidation is one firm will acquire another firm, and let’s say the firm that’s being acquired has got eight advisers. A firm gets bought out, everything works out really well for the principal, who gets paid for the sale, and the eight advisers behind the principal are now subject to a different kind of culture.

'Perhaps they're given limited investment choice, perhaps a more limited advice process, targets they didn’t have previously, and you find that, over time, those advisers disperse and set up by themselves.'

The service will focus particularly on geography, ensuring clients are provided with the same degree of personal service. 

Timmins added: 'What I find strange and what I think is unpalatable for a number of advisers is, if you’re a firm based in Huddersfield, you don’t want to sell to a consolidator based in Worcester where you know full well your clients will not be seen and have a face-to-face relationship. 

'Just as important for these advisers, as well as the pounds and pence they get for the business, is the relationship their clients have with the new incumbent.'

Catch up on all the IFAs who have sold up in 2019 so far

SimplyBiz hopes the service will offer advisers looking to sell their business a better long-term solution than 'going to a national consolidator and being put into a restricted model'.

Earlier this month Financial Conduct Authority executive director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard told New Model Adviser® consolidation in the advice market could lead to improvement in professional standards.

Timmins explained: 'We are going to start from a list of advisers who are looking to make some level of corporate transaction over the next five years, and a list of those firms that would like to buy and acquire client banks.

'We’ll then look at geographical matches and the other things that are important such as culture, charging structures, systems and processes.'

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