Openwork has moved to implement a central part of its strategy to prepare for the RDR with the acquisition¹ of leading independent advice firm 2plan Wealth Management.
Leeds-based 2plan, voted Best Technology Adviser at the 2010 Money Marketing Awards², has more than 200 advisers and provides an extensive range of wealth management, retirement, investment and financial planning services to private clients and businesses across the country.
Launched in 2007 by founders Chris Smallwood and Chris Davies, 2plan – which makes extensive use of market-leading technology to support its advisers and clients – will be run separately from Openwork and will retain its own brand and management team. Whole-of-market advisers joining Openwork will become advisers of 2plan, while existing Openwork advisers will also benefit from the expanded range of investment opportunities offered by 2plan.
Openwork will acquire 100% of the shares of the 2plan Group, including the 15% stake previously owned by Standard Life.
Martin Davis, chief executive of Openwork, says: “Significantly developing our IFA capability is one of the key aims of our strategy to prepare for the RDR so we are extremely pleased to have been able to acquire an IFA firm as professional, skilled and innovative as 2plan.
“For us, purchasing a quality firm with strong processes and a scalable platform – run by people with the knowledge and technology to help us grow in the IFA space – represents the best way to leverage our existing proposition for the benefit of our business, shareholders and clients. The deal makes absolute sense for both businesses and I am extremely pleased that we have been able to make this acquisition at this time.
“Since meeting them I have been very impressed with what Chris Smallwood and Chris Davies have built at 2Plan and I am excited at the prospect of working with them to take the business to the next level.”
Chris Smallwood, chief executive, 2plan Wealth Management, says: “As a young and ambitious firm it was important we sought a partner able to give us the support and scale we require to continue to grow strongly in the coming years. Openwork is a progressive business with a forward-looking management team and it was clear that we shared many of the priorities and imperatives that will make this deal an excellent one for both organisations.”
¹ The acquisition is subject to FSA approval
² 2plan was also voted one of the UK’s top three IFA firms at the 2010 Money Marketing Awards