Skipton Building Society intends to buy a 75% stake in IFA firm Pearson Jones. The deal, subject to regulatory approval, involves an initial payment of £3m, rising to £9m in time.
The purchase builds on Skipton’s drive to increase scale in financial services distribution, and to improve its presence in the IFA distribution market.
Skipton has a presence in the financial services market through its estate agency, Connells, and its two IFAs, Skipton Financial Services (SFS), and Direct Life and Pension Services (DLPS).
Alan Scotter, group commercial director of Skipton BS, said: ‘Pearson Jones is a different operation to SFS and DLPS. It will extend the range of the group in terms of the type of people it deals with. Pearson Jones deals with relatively high net worth customers and small corporates, and specialises in wealth management. There is a range of additional expertise they bring to the group. We are looking at ways of expanding both distribution channels and in spreading the range of advice we can offer.’
While Pearson Jones will report to Skipton’s main board of directors, it will still be run as an independent company and retain its brand.
Scotter added: ‘We will not expect Pearson Jones to recommend Skipton products. We are extending the customer proposition throughout the group and looking to them to add value to the group through creating profit.’
Pearson Jones offers self-administered corporate and personal pensions, as well as tax and trust advice ‘ services not normally associated with IFAs.
The company began when life and pensions brokers, Andrew Pearson and Trevor Jones, merged their individual businesses in 1981. The company operates in Leeds, Sheffield, Barnsley and York, with 29 consultants, and a client bank of over 12,000.
Trevor Jones, director of Pearson Jones, said: ‘This will benefit our customers and create a marvellous opportunity for everyone within the company. The additional disciplines we bring to the group as wealth managers, trust and pension specialists, mean we can add significantly to the services the society offers its members and the market.’