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Stuart Wilson in Answers in Retirement management buy-back

  • 05/01/2017
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Stuart Wilson in Answers in Retirement management buy-back
Stuart Wilson group managing director of Answers in Retirement has led a 25% management buy-back of the firm after sale seven years ago, fully returning the business to private ownership.

The group, which is the umbrella group for brands including 2016 Equity Release Award winning technology brand AIR Sourcing and the Equity Release Club, completed the deal over the new year.

The group said the deal will enable greater ability to raise funding and investment in the group, including the Later Life Academy the training organisation for retirement advisers.

Plans for the new year include further development of AIR Sourcing, the sourcing system for equity release and retirement lending products, with the inclusion of a power of attorney legal advice aid to protect the one in four over 65s that develop a mental capacity issue. The expansion of the academy and further development of the club will also be supported by the implementation of new telephony system and a group-wide recruitment drive also on the way.

Wilson said: “We are understandably delighted to have bought the shareholding back having worked closely with an amazingly supportive investor who has given us the significant momentum we have achieved over recent years with an increased staff and management team.”

He added: “It promises to be a very exciting year for the later life market and we will continue to ensure we are at the forefront of the sector offering a range of products and services for all advisers so they too have everything they need to develop their own propositions for a growing client base.”

Wilson said the Marsden Building society, Family Building Society and Hodge Lifetime are already pushing the boundaries of defined equity release lending and a raft of mutuals and high street lenders are set to launch innovative later life products within an undefined timeline.

Most lenders will use a referral model along the lines of the Santander-Key Retirement agreement, but others are genuinely attempting to innovate with new products, not simply solve the interest-only repayment issue for customers near term-end, said Wilson.

“The reason funding has been such a challenge for this sector is because the market is so tiny. A £2bn market is not enough for most lenders to get out of bed for after the IT, infrastructure and regulatory costs. But the two to three year growth curve will unshackle lenders as they see the potential for margin in this sector,” he said.

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