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Key Retirement in ‘advanced’ partnership discussions with high street lenders

  • 19/09/2017
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Key Retirement in ‘advanced’ partnership discussions with high street lenders
Key Retirement has revealed it is in “fairly advanced” discussions with major high street lenders as it seeks to further grow its retirement advice capability.

The firm already has several deals with banks and building societies, including with Santander through Legal and General and said it expected further announcements to be made soon.

It also believes the prediction the equity release market will reach £5bn by 2021 is increasingly becoming a “reasonably conservative estimate”.

As part of a major expansion plan, Key Retirement is launching a recruitment and investment drive to take its total equity release adviser numbers to more than 200 across the UK, from its current 130.


Booming market

The project is spearheaded by newly-appointed CEO Will Hale (pictured), who joined Key Retirement Group in 2014 as business development director. Hale was appointed CEO following the £208m acquisition of the group by Partners Group.

Hale told Mortgage Solutions that the group need to invest in the significant expansion to support and service the rapid later-life lending market growth.

“The market is booming and we’re keen to drive that growth ourselves and continue our position as the number one equity release broker, so adviser recruitment is a big part of that,” he said.

“Our substantial adviser growth target is indicative of what we see as the opportunities within the market and the growth of market.”

He added: “We’ve got about a 33% share of the equity release advice market and are looking to maintain that if not nudge it up by a couple of percentage points.”


Adviser development

Hale explained that he was expecting to grow the business through internal and external hiring, with many mainstream mortgage brokers or IFAs already showing an interest in exploring a career in the sector.

“But we’ve also got our own in-house capability and we’re going to further invest in and extend that, because we realise if going to extend the market it’s not just about taking advisers off other firms, it’s about bringing new blood into the market,” Hale added.

As part of Key Retirement’s expansion it is seeking further tie-ins with high street lenders to support their customers.

“It’s fair to say we’re in touch with all major lenders and they are at various different stages of their thinking, but a number of them are fairly advanced,” Hale said.

“I think it’s fair to say there’s lots of interest with what Santander has done and we can expect others to do something similar very soon.”

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