National IFA firm Continuum was just one of 41 firms with over 50 advisers in 2021, according to the latest Retail Mediation Activities Return (RMAR) data published by the Financial Conduct Authority.
The number of firms with over 50 advisers rose 17% from 35 firms in 2020, as consolidation within the financial advice market continues to narrow the number of smaller firms.
In 2020 there were 4,581 firms with between 1 and 5 advisers, in 2021 this fell 4% to 4,396 firms.
National IFA firm Continuum had 57 financial advisers in 2021 and is approaching 60 high-quality hand-picked advisers at the end of June 2022.
There was a slight rise in the number of financial adviser posts across all firms despite the fall in the number of smaller firms, according to the FCA’s RMAR data.
The number of posts rose to 36,674 (2020: 36,377).
Independent advice firms also accounted for a higher percentage of revenues earned from adviser charges across all firms than in 2020.
For all firms those providing independent advice accounted for 63% of revenue earned from adviser charges (up from 61% in 2020), and those providing restricted advice for 37%.
Martin Brown, Managing Partner at Continuum, said: “The recent RMAR statistics from the FCA show that not only is advice market consolidation stepping up in pace, but that independent financial advice continues to be the way forward for advisers looking to provide the best service to their clients.
“The costs of running an advice business continue to rise and we have seen a marked increase in the number of high-quality advisers approaching Continuum over the past year looking to join our Partnership to help them with both the financial and time constraints caused by the effects of increased regulation in recent years.
“As the number of smaller advice firms continues to shrink, there are many options for financial advisers looking for the right firm to partner with. At Continuum we are finalising our succession solution that we are excited to be able to reveal later this year. This will offer a home for life for advisers, clients, staff and future generations to come.”
The Continuum succession programme – My Continuum Succession -is expected to be launched before the end of 2022.
Earlier this month Continuum announced that it has agreed a deal with financial giant M&G plc to accelerate its growth plans to become the leading national independent advice brand.
Martin Brown said: “We have been approached by a wide range of firms over the past two years but none of them were the right fit for a potential partnership. Our key priority throughout all discussions was to partner with a business that could support our strong belief we can become a household brand. We were looking for a partner that would help us develop our brand whilst maintaining our independence and supporting our people, who are the DNA of this business.
“In M&G we have a partner who will invest in our business and our brand. We have the ambition to become a household name and believe that with M&G’s backing we can achieve this.”