MSN’s managing director Peter Ransome will retire on 31 July and will be succeeded by Shaun Almond, formerly sales and marketing director on 1 August.
Founding and sole shareholders Simon James and David Collins, agreed to allow Ransome to look for a buyer for the business, and when the right company was found planned to retire from the network.
Speaking to Mortgage Solutions, Ransome said: “Three years ago [the board] discussed its future plans and we agreed I would explore a succession strategy which would involve looking for a company interested in buying another network, but not a large firm, which would swallow us up.
“We approached HLP because it is a similar network – its focus is on the interests of the small adviser firm, like ours. Some two-and-a-half years ago HLP made us an offer but it was not enough, however in September 2016 the board rang asking if we were still on the market and made an acceptable offer.”
The change of ownership completed on 14 July. Ransome will take up the position of non-executive director of MSN after he retires.
Incoming MD Shaun Almond spent 30 years working at the Legal and General network, before being made redundant in May 2016 when the network closed. Almond’s final position at L&G was national sales manager.
MSN has around 95 advisers and 75 firms in the network. HLP has approximately 425 to 440 individual advisers and 200 adviser firms. MSN and HLP see the shared parentage as a way to give them more buying power in the industry.
The firms, however, will remain separate and will be run as individual networks.
Almond plans to use his industry contacts from his L&G days to raise the profile of the MSN brand. In the past the network has been happy to operate under the radar.
“We have been quietly concentrating on supporting one and two-man bands, which is our ideal customer. Now we want to raise the profile of the brand and attract more like-minded advisers,” he said.