Alan Gow (pictured), owner of Reading-based Argonaut Paraplanning, is looking to merge his business with a fellow outsourced paraplanning firm.
He predicted there would be mass consolidation of paraplanning firms in 2013 and said he wanted to merge to create a larger outsourced business.
He said the current number of paraplanning businesses was unsustainable, and a bigger firm could offer more consistent processes and economies of scale.
‘I don’t see the point of [there being] 50 or 60 paraplanning firms,’ he said. ‘It doesn’t make any sense. I cannot take some clients on now because I am too small, so I am looking for a like-minded individual. [Merging businesses] will be the way forward for this market this year.’
He said larger paraplanning firms would also offer greater security for advisers because many outsourced firms consisted of only one person who could go out of business, return to in-house paraplanning or struggle with the workload.
‘A one-man band working from a back room can only go so far,’ he said. ‘People like the idea of it, but in practice they are running a company while what they want to be doing is paraplanning.’
Gow said he expected to be very busy in January, following the retail distribution review deadline, and wanted to find a business partner as soon as possible.