SBG restructure scraps investment advisers

Sesame Bankhall Group is set to scrap its investment adviser network and plans to concentrate solely on mortgages and directly authorised business as part of a fundamental restructure.

There has been uncertainty over SBG’s future since February 2013, when it was put up for sale. SBG later confirmed it was carrying out a strategic review of the business.

Over two years since that work started, and after shareholders backed Aviva’s takeover deal of Friends Life last month, SBG has reached a decision on the advice firm’s future. In an update on its strategic review, published last week, SBG says it will retain its mortgage arm, which will include the PMS mortgage club and a network for mortgage firms. This represents around 25 per cent of UK intermediated mortgage lending.

Under the new structure, the network for investment advisers will cease to exist. Appointed representative members will have to choose between going DA as part of Bankhall or moving to a new “network partner”. SBG is in talks with a network, which is thought to be Intrinsic, about taking on Sesame ARs, but this has not been confirmed.

Advice firms that do not want to move to either Bankhall or the network partner must leave SBG.

Executive chairman John Cowan says: “We will develop our growing Bankhall business and continue to grow our mortgage business, including our AR network option for mortgage firms.

“However, we will no longer offer an AR network option for wealth firms. Wealth firms currently in our network will be given time to become DA with the support of Bankhall. Alternatively, firms preferring to remain as ARs will be able to move to a new network partner.”

It is expected that more details will be announced before the end of April, including the identity of the network partner.