Contrary to the third Heath Report (THR3) – which had predicted a 40% to 50% fall in the number of financial advisers over the next 10 years – the number of financial advisers in the UK is on the rise.

Several weeks ago, Lloyds Banking group announced in the Financial Times newspaper that it intended to hire more than 700 financial advisers – building upon its strategic tie-up with Schroders last year.

Speaking to the Financial Times, a person close to the strategic planning said that much of the growth would be organic, as the bank, the largest on the UK high street, marketed its services to current and corporate account customers.

In terms of the number of advisers, this would put the Lloyds/Schroders business ahead of Lighthouse, which has more than 400 advisers. In terms of assets under management (AUM), it would make the Lloyds/Schroders business the fourth largest adviser in the UK, behind SJP, Hargreaves Lansdown and Quilter, according to Strategic Insight data used to compile the FT Adviser Top 100 list.

The joint venture is part of a wider deal between the companies, with Schroders taking over as manager of £80bn of Scottish Widows assets that had previously been managed by Aberdeen Asset Management.

Lloyds will transfer some £13bn of assets and its 300-odd advisers from its existing wealth management business to the joint venture.
In a separate announcement, online platform Interactive Investor will launch an advice proposition this year built off its £40m purchase of fellow platform Alliance Trust in November.

Together, the platforms hold a combined £35bn in AUM and have around 400,000 customers.

It is the second-largest D2C platform in the market behind Hargreaves Lansdown and almost double the size of its next closest rival, Fidelity.

Interactive Investors chief executive Richard Wilson says there is no certainty yet certain what the combined platforms’ advice proposition will look like.

Sabuhi Gard is an investment writer at Incisive Works

Further reading on this topic:

Report predicts fall in the number of advisers over the next 10 years