Darlington-based mortgage, protection and wealth advisers, i2i Financial Planning Group has become the latest major appointed representative (AR) firm to join mortgage and insurance network, Stonebridge Group.
The firm is run by directors, Mike Drake and Nigel Waterfall-Brown, and alongside its head office in Darlington, it has advisers operating from numerous satellite offices across the North East & East of England.
The business focuses primarily on providing mortgage and protection advice to clients and is a traditional, advice-led service business with both directors, and most advisers within the team, having moved to i2i from a direct sales background.
It said it chose Stonebridge Group because of the strength of its overall proposition for AR firms, in particular the willingness of the team to provide support and solutions to help its business grow.
Richard Adams, managing director of Stonebridge Group, said: “2015 continues to be a very strong year for Stonebridge Group particularly in terms of the quality of advisory firms that are choosing to join our network. We are very pleased to welcome i2i, its directors and advisers to the Stonebridge fold and we have already begun to work closely together on developing their expansion plans for the months and years ahead.
“The team at i2i appears to have been impressed by our financial model, the sales system and the range and accessibility of our product offering, which have all been a key focus for us over the past 12 months. We are in the process of talking to numerous other firms about joining Stonebridge and have ambitious plans with regard to taking both the network and our AR firms forward.”
Mike Drake, director of i2i Financial Planning, said: “We looked at a number of options recently with regards to the future of i2i, one of which was to become DA however having spoken to the directors and looked closely at the proposition on offer, we decided there were greater opportunities for us in choosing to remain an AR as part of Stonebridge.
“There were a number of reasons for this, not least the overall offering which allows our advisers access to more products which will ensure their clients are better protected. Compared to our previous network, the costs involved in joining Stonebridge are much lower and it delivers a far better sales system, Revolution, which should free up time and allow more sales.
“Coupled with a far more pragmatic approach to sales quality and a fantastic proposition into which we can recruit, this meant we were extremely comfortable with choosing Stonebridge, our business relationship and its structure. We are now looking ahead to developing our business within the Group.”