The deal should complete by March 2020, transferring the shares to Openwork’s other main shareholder, Openwork Partnership LLP which represents the network of some 600 adviser firms and 3,000 advisers.
Openwork asserts the move places it in a robust financial position as the network of advisers increases its ownership.
Mark Duckworth (pictured), chief executive officer of Openwork, said: “This agreement marks a major point in Openwork’s development. Advisers can see a clear path, collectively, to owning the network that provides the vital infrastructure behind their own businesses, a benefit which will be available in due course both to existing and new firms that join us.”
“The agreement also demonstrates that Openwork has a clear ability to grow and create value, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Zurich which has long been an integral part of our proposition.”
David White, managing director for retail at Zurich UK Life, said: “Today’s announcement is the culmination of the strategy set out when Openwork was created in 2005 and reflects the huge strides Openwork has made in recent years to become and remain profitable.
In January, Openwork confirmed a review of its fee-charging structure for members which its CEO said would ‘likely’ result in a deduction from the upfront fee which advisers receive from their clients.
The network currently only deducts a charge from the proc fee paid by lenders to brokers for introducing the business.