Verso Wealth Administration has appointed a former banker as chief government because it seeks acquisitions in a quickly consolidating impartial monetary adviser market.
The Sussex-based group, with property of greater than £1.8bn, has employed Alan Mathewson to steer the enterprise and oversee the combination of the 5 monetary companies corporations it purchased final yr.
The appointment comes as Verso prepares for additional consolidation within the UK’s fragmented advisory sector and as smaller corporations come below pressure from the price of complying with new guidelines. The trade faces vital regulatory modifications in July when the Monetary Conduct Authority’s shopper responsibility guidelines come into drive, which the watchdog mentioned will trigger “a significant shift” in monetary companies.
Graham Coxell, chair of Verso, mentioned: “Development will come very a lot from acquisitions. We’ve been very profitable in buying 5 enterprise over the previous 18 months, and we’re persevering with to search for engaging acquisition alternatives.”
He mentioned the chance for acquisitions “is important”, noting that there “will proceed to be consolidation” within the IFA market.
Coxell mentioned the group’s offers so far have been IFA corporations overseeing greater than £350mn. “Going ahead, we’ll possibly purchase barely greater [businesses] north of £500mn” he mentioned. Verso might additionally purchase groups of IFAs from different corporations, he added.
Mathewson was beforehand a senior adviser to non-public fairness agency Bridgepoint. Previous to this, he was chief government of UK wealth supervisor Brown Shipley. He additionally labored for 20 years at Santander, working its UK wealth administration and personal banking division amongst different roles.
Verso, which is backed by personal fairness agency Cairngorm Capital, has grown its property from a number of hundred million lower than two years in the past by way of a sequence of offers. Verso’s speedy development displays a broader pattern amongst private equity firms seeking to expand within the UK’s wealth administration trade.
Many IFA corporations are reassessing their enterprise fashions and their charging constructions as a result of the brand new guidelines are anticipated to drive up prices. The FCA mentioned in January that some corporations have been nonetheless behind in planning for the patron responsibility guidelines, aimed toward guaranteeing prospects are handled pretty by monetary companies corporations.
Verso is aiming to construct a nationwide wealth administration group, with IFAs for monetary planning conditions that require face-to-face recommendation and digital companies for extra simple companies.
The corporate’s government restructuring is aimed toward getting ready Verso for embedding the acquisitions in addition to future offers. Verso’s co-founder Andrew Fay will step down from the chief government function however will stay on the board.
“As we develop, I would like to verify we’ve the best folks within the workforce to handle the expansion successfully,” mentioned Coxell. “From a regulatory perspective, it’s important we are able to reveal the suitable skillset and oversight . . . I do count on to additional strengthen the workforce.”