29 Jan, 2008
Published: 07:00 Tuesday 29 January 2008
By: Daniel Grote, New Model News Reporter
is continuing with its ambitious expansion plans for its wealth
management division by holding regular preview days for advisers
interested in their proposition.
AXA-owned Thinc has made a number of approaches to advisers it is
eyeing up for its wealth management division, and has invited them
to spend a day at its London offices to learn about the firm.
Thinc is offering advisers a part of the company's long-term
incentive scheme and its adviser annuity scheme, which provides a
planned exit route, and income for life for retiring wealth
A series of fortnightly Thinc wealth management preview days kicked
off on 9 January, and will be held every other Wednesday through to
Thinc wealth management directors John Abraham and Patrick Murphy
are speaking at the events, together with director of investments
Ian Shipway, investment team leader Louise Norman, and senior
transition manager Hazel Hodge.
Hodge, who was instrumental in convincing Julie Lord of Cavendish
Financial Management and Marlene Shalton of Morgan James to join
Thinc last year, said firms like Thinc 'with quality senior
personnel who have vision, excellent client propositions and teams
of staff all working well together, will be the winners'.
Lord's decision to sell was a propaganda coup for Thinc which
includes a case study of the IFP director in its presentation pack.
Lord is quoted as saying that, 'I am very happy to find that the
wealth management division within Thinc works in a similar way to
the way I have always worked at Cavendish'.
Shipway, who sold his business to Thinc in 2003, predicts in his
profile that the advice sector will polarise between those that
seek to build a profession and those that elect to remain marketing
'Each is a viable choice, but the business models that will be
utilised by each are very different and will require separate
management and infrastructure.'
He adds: 'Thinc is the only large firm to fully understand this
future and to be working towards creating an organisation capable
of dealing with both ends of the spectrum.'
Among those who have received approaches from Thinc are Navigator
Financial Planning, Broadway Financial Planning, Meridan Park
Associates and Argyle Financial Group.
Acquisition of Cotswolds-based Broadway would further increase
Thinc's presence on the Institute of Financial Planning Board, as
managing director Simon Williamson is a member.
Williamson used to collaborate with Lord and Shalton in the sharing
of business practices before Thinc's swoop for Cavendish and Morgan
James, so the firm would likely fit Thinc's model.
But Williamson would not be drawn on the nature of discussions with
'I've spoken to Thinc, but so have a number of people,' he said.
Meanwhile, Bruce Foskett from Meridan Park and this week's Cover
Star on page 44, said he had been referred to Thinc as a possible
candidate for acquisition, but the company did not meet Thinc's
Thinc responded with an offer of a merger into its network, which
Foskett said he is considering.
David Crozier, certified financial planner at Navigator, said he
had received two Thinc approaches about recruitment to the wealth
management division, but rejected them both.
'I would want more autonomy, control and input into my business
than I would get at Thinc,' he said.
Argyle director Phil Melville said he was receiving calls 'every
three weeks' from Thinc and was growing frustrated at continually
rejecting their approaches.
One adviser approached by Thinc criticised the process the firm
employed to determine its offer for the business, claiming it was
'The initial offer was a bit vague with no guarantees. Then they
come in and do due diligence, with a computer system which churns
out numbers based on various criteria they don't