Zurich and the Openwork Partnership LLP have completed the divestment of Zurich’s 25% shareholding in Openwork.
Openwork, which is the UK’s largest financial advice network, is now majority-owned by the Openwork Partnership LLP (representing member firms). Openwork’s employees retain a minority shareholding via an employee benefit trust.
It marks the culmination of the strategy set out by Zurich when it created Openwork in 2005.
Openwork will continue to distribute Zurich’s product lines in the UK.
Mark Duckworth, CEO of Openwork, said: “In February 2016 we announced that Partners would become Openwork’s majority shareholder within four years, and we have been working hard to prepare the business for everything that separation entails. The fact we have reached this milestone two years early should give everyone connected to Openwork huge confidence and optimism.
“We have a secure, stable, proftable business that delivers a hugely important service to hundreds of thousands of people across the UK. To be doing this independently; to have our destiny in our own hands, is exciting.”
Andy Wilmot, partner, and chair of Openwork’s Shareholder Council, the body of partners which represents the LLP, added: “On behalf of all Partners, I am delighted we have realised our ambition and created something we believe is unique in financial services. Holding equity in a growing business that has the scale and power of Openwork has been much-anticipated and we look forward to welcoming more Partners to enjoy the benefits as Openwork continues to expand.”