Swindon-based Unique Financial Planning Limited and London-based Chartered Financial Planner The Penny Group have become the first two businesses to sign five-year ‘Strategic Partner Firm’ contracts with the Openwork network, one of the UK’s largest advisory firms.
The Openwork Partnership has launched new long-term strategic partnership agreements with major firms in its network.
The aim is to build a stronger bond with larger firms.
Openwork says the new contracts give the biggest network members and The Openwork Partnership more security to invest in a “mutually beneficial relationship.”
Openwork says it has identified 18 businesses as potential Strategic Partner Firms, accounting for a quarter of assets under management across platforms and Omnis, The Openwork Partnership’s investment arm. Around 850 advisers work for these potential Strategic Partner Firms.
The partnerships mean the firm involved retain client ownership and marketing rights.
The Openwork Partnership network members employ more than 4,300 advisers in 700-plus firms across the UK ranging from sole traders to companies with 500-plus advisers.
Openwork recently rebranded and launched its first TV advertising campaign as part of its growth ambitions.
Openwork aims to roll out the new contracts to all potential Strategic Partner Firms by the end of the year.
Newcastle Financial Advisers (part of the Newcastle Building Society) and Just Mortgages were already on longer term contracts before the new initiative.
Philip Howell, chief executive of The Openwork Partnership, said: “The signing of the first Strategic Partner Firm contracts is a major milestone in the growth of The Openwork Partnership and underlines the power and value of the relationship with our Partners.
“It is very much a two-way agreement which gives both sides more security and protection which is beneficial for all network members while offering control over client ownership and marketing rights to the bigger firms, recognising their scale and status.”
Stewart Williams, CEO of Unique Financial Planning Limited, commented: “Our relationship with The Openwork Partnership has played a significant role in our growth over the past few years, and so we are delighted to now be committing to a continued relationship with them. We have a clear and ambitious expansion plan to create a valuable, scaled, and sustainable firm, with a view to eventually capitalising our business. We have no doubt the team’s continued support and expertise will be of real value to us as we seek to achieve that.”
Graeme Morrissey, partner of The Penny Group, said: “We are very pleased to be taking this important step forward after working with The Openwork Partnership for more than a decade. Our relationship has evolved over that time, and this new contract demonstrates the level of collaboration between our two businesses and provides a platform from which we can move forward as a partnership of equals.
“The Penny Group will continue to focus on recruiting and training the next generation of highly qualified financial advisers, in order to provide a natural home for the many business owners in the network who are seeking their own exit in the near to medium term. The Openwork Partnership have clearly indicated their support of our plans for growth, and we look forward to assisting the Openwork Partnership management team with delivering their own strategy over the medium term.”
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