Having been Head of Business Development for the last 5 years, Paul Platten has led the business to being its busiest since inception, but how much do you know about the man behind the action?

Here’s your exclusive insight into Paul Platten

What is your experience in Financial Services?

With over 40 years experience within Financial Services, Paul has gained a wealth of knowledge covering all aspects of the industry. As a young man, Paul joined NatWest with a progressive career spanning 25 years, including his role to head up their Home Loans division.

Following this, Paul decided to utilise his business development skills by becoming a Director / Shareholder of a Mortgage Packaging business and was influential in taking it from 2 staff to 28, where at their peak they were processing up to 300 mortgage applications per month. As the business evolved, Paul was instrumental in the firm setting up a Mortgage Network with over 120 members.

During the last 10 years, Paul has utilised his skills and industry experience to benefit IFAs. This has been through undertaking senior recruitment roles with IFA networks, requiring Paul to fully understand each IFA and work closely with them to drive growth in their business. In particular, Paul was instrumental in doubling a network from 250 to 500 members!

Since 2013, Paul has been heavily involved in the acquisition market, tailoring solutions that meet the needs of buyers and sellers, which takes him to today with IFA Acquisitions!

Outside of Financial Services, Paul has a passion for motorsport racing, which began when he was partaking in rallies at national level throughout his youth!

What are some of your biggest challenges?

With regular articles featured in the industry press about acquisitions taking place, often IFAs can be mystified about what is available for them. Part of Paul’s role is to find out what key aspects each Adviser wants in their exit strategy and to set expectations of what can be achieved and what needs to be explored further.

One of the challenges Paul has found is that some Advisers who have poor health can leave it too long to sell their client bank and would have benefited financially if the business had been sold earlier, before seeing a decline in annual turnover and diminishing number of clients. The other benefit to Advisers in this situation is that an earlier sale would have helped to alleviate the stress of servicing clients and meeting all the regulatory requirements during this difficult period.

What is the focus of the business?

Each day Paul has his sights set on helping the acquirer and the seller match their requirements; this includes significant attention on it being right for the IFA’s clients as well.

Paul feels greatest joy when he is able to help his client achieve the best possible outcome for them.

How do you see the acquisition market over the next 12 months?

Paul believes it will continue to improve on three accounts; 1) more opportunities available and increase volume of deals occurring from a growing appetite for IFAs to expand 2) the industry has a high percentage of Advisers reaching retirement age looking for an exit and others wanting a change of business direction and 3) the Covid 19 pandemic has taught us that life is not a rehearsal and more advisers reaching retirement age are wanting to exit financial services to spend more time with loved ones.

Five years ago, the market just wanted to buy your business on an earn out basis. Now there are lots of strongly captialised businesses that can offer good upfront payments as part of the Sales Purchase Agreement.

Today, Paul has access to all sorts of propositions for sellers looking for an opportunity to receive a capital event and continue to grow their business or a complete exit in an agreed time frame. Or even, ability to sell just your B & C clients to focus on growing your higher value network.

What makes IFA Acquisitions unique?

The approach taken is the important difference which Paul believes is why IFA Acquisitions is respected by buyers and sellers. Paul understands it is far more beneficial to all parties that he listens and does not apply pressure; as evidenced by several sellers who have been in talks with Paul for over 2 years before they are ready to commit to a deal!

The personnel in IFA Acquisitions have many years financial services experience behind them, so we know and understand every aspect of your business. Furthermore, IFA Acquisitions will guide the seller through each step of the acquisition journey, with full briefings on what to expect. This is undertaken through both telephone conversations and meeting clients at their premises, to uphold a personal service.

What are you looking forward to in 2021?

Quite simply, Paul is excited to help more people and IFA firms find the opportunity that is truly right for them! This might even be you!