Standard Life launches financial advice business

Standard Life is launching a wholly-owned UK-wide, financial advice business after unveiling the purchase today of Pearson Jones.

Standard Life says it is building its own UK-wide advice service, delivering face-to-face, on the phone and through digital services in response to the demand created by the pensions reforms. The operation will integrate with Standard Life’s existing workplace and direct services by providing a natural next step for customers with needs that can no longer entirely be met through self-service or guidance.

Standard says the creation of a new academy means it will also be active in recruiting and training people for a career in financial advice.

The business will use funds from Standard Life Investments and Standard Life’s platform proposition. Threesixty will provide compliance and support services to the new business.

The growth of the advice business will be accelerated through the acquisition of progressive financial advice firms which align well with our operating model. 

Steve Murray, who has been instrumental in developing Standard Life’s UK advice and distribution strategy, will lead the business in his role as CEO.

Standard has agreed with Skipton Building Society to purchase Pearson Jones, bringing assets under advice of £1.1bn into the organisation.  Pearson Jones has served customers in the North of England for more than 40 years and has 39 advisers and paraplanners in a team of 102 employees.    

Standard Life managing director Barry O’Dwyer says: “As a leading long-term savings business in the UK, this is an exciting next step for Standard Life. Supporting advice has been a key part of our heritage since we were founded in 1825.

“We’re delighted Pearson Jones will be part of our new business. They have a single-minded focus on helping clients and are an excellent example of a progressive firm with an RDR-compliant, platform-based advisory proposition.  We look forward to working with the team to support the growth of our new business.”

Pearson Jones managing director Tim Johnson says: “Pearson Jones’ management and staff are excited to be joining Standard Life to help build a ‘best-in-class’, nationwide financial advice business. Standard Life’s focus on enhancing client service and improving the career prospects of our staff makes this a very good step in our 40-year history.”