The number of affiliated advisers rose across both Openwork and Owl Financial – Openwork’s subsidiary, protection only business.
Of this 3,521, it revealed that 1,580 (approximately 44%) are pure mortgage and protection advisers.
Mark Duckworth, chief executive officer at Openwork, said: “To continue growing our network, particularly as the total number of advisers in the UK falls, is very satisfying indeed. Alongside bringing in new business, this is a key plank of our strategy as we look to build on the strong financial growth that we have delivered over the last few years.”
The company provided £11.1bn mortgage lending for the year to 31 December 2016 and told Mortgage Solutions that it expects to exceed that figure this year.
Asked how it expects to cope with the contraction in the buy-to-let (BTL) market, a spokesperson said: “We haven’t seen tumbling BTL figures. Our figures have dropped slightly and we’re continuing to work hard to educate and inform advisers so that they can support their landlord clients through the PRA changes. This support includes online information and updates, as well as face to face events and workshops running around the country. We also extended our panel of specialist BTL lenders, appointing Kent Reliance and Fleet Mortgages in the last 12 months.”
Openwork Group is owned, via ordinary shares, by its advisers with a 67.5% share, 7.5% by its employees and 25% by Zurich Financial Services Group.