Steve Buttercase has left M2 Financial to start his own firm after becoming disillusioned with the influence of parent company Towergate.
Towergate bought the Nottingham firm last August and Buttercase (pictured) said it had pushed into single-tied deals on the annuity and protection side of the business, which he claimed could threaten its independence in other areas of the financial planning process. ‘It never really grasped financial planning the way it could,’ he said.
But M2 managing director Mark Howard denied that any aspect of the business was tied.
‘M2 are not tied. We are independent and whole of market. That’s where we come from and that’s where we are going. I don’t know why he would say that,' he said.
Buttercase, who left M2 earlier this month, has tentatively named his new venture Sense Financial Solutions and will initially operate from his home near Nottingham. The fee-charging financial planning business will focus on high-net-worth clients with more than £100,000 to invest.
‘It will be a big shift. I’ve always thought it was the right way of doing things,’ said Butttercase, who worked as an IFA at M2 since 2002.
He said setting up the business would be a challenge but the difficult market conditions had not dented his confidence. ‘It’s a horrible environment, but it’s not going to get any worse and there are some terrific opportunities out there,’ he said.