Sesame Bankhall Group has bolstered its specialist referral service to cater for the increasing number of advisers looking to expand the range of solutions they offer their clients through the greater use of introducer partnerships.
Gateway Specialist Advice Services has replaced Sesame Solutions as the Network’s specialist referral service for members, providing advice on pension transfers and retirement options – including income drawdown and equity release. Long-term care has also been added to the range of services available. Along with Sesame Network members, the service has also been rolled out to directly authorised advisers across Bankhall and PMS.
The IFA business comprises the existing Sesame Solutions team of 15 staff, including 10 specialist advisers and paraplanners.
To assist Gateway’s future expansion plan, Partnership, one of the UK’s leading providers of financial products for people with health and lifestyle conditions, has become an investor in the business. This will enable Gateway to benefit from both additional investment, along with the specialist provider’s annuity expertise, as the IFA firm seeks to promote and extend its range of services in the future.
Gateway will continue to provide independent advice and will work closely with Partnership to take advantage of emerging opportunities arising from the burgeoning retirement and annuity market.
Sesame Solutions was originally set up six years ago, offering an independent referral service that enables financial advisers to provide their clients with access to fully qualified and experienced specialists in complex pensions business and equity release. The team reviews the client’s circumstances, carries out extensive research and provides a detailed personal recommendation, whilst also taking full regulatory and professional indemnity responsibility. The introducing adviser receives a share of commission generated or an introductory fee if the client wishes to pay by fee.
Stephen Young, Chief Operating Officer for Sesame Bankhall Group, said: “Demand for this service has steadily grown as people have become more aware of the greater flexibility around retirement planning and the benefit of accessing expert professional advice. This increased interest has stimulated more advisers to use our services, and we expect demand to grow further in light of the RDR as advisers review and define their future client proposition.
“For many firms who do not usually advise on these more complex areas of business, working with a reputable specialist business partner enables them to enhance their service to clients. By introducing business to Gateway, advisers are avoiding any risk and liability associated with writing this business themselves, whilst providing their clients with specialist advice and opening up additional income streams for the future.”
Commenting on Partnership’s investment in the new firm, Andrew Megson, Managing Director of Retirement, said: “We are delighted to be working on this exciting new venture and we believe that our insight and expertise in this specialist business area will help Gateway Specialist Advice Services to become a successful company that delivers a valuable service to advisers and their clients. The ‘at retirement’ market is set to boom over the next decade as the ‘baby boomers’ generation approach retirement, many of whom have built up significant wealth in property and pensions. These are precisely the type of people who need specialist financial advice and Gateway will be there to help them.”