German hi-tech IFA to move into UK market

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The Independent Online

MLP, a German hi-tech financial adviser is planning to enter the UK market next month.

MLP, a German hi-tech financial adviser is planning to enter the UK market next month.

The company, Marschollek, Lautenschläger & Partner which floated on the Frankfurt stock exchange in 1998, has pioneered the use of highly trained investment advisers, coupled with the internet, to grab a large slice of the growing market in Germany for equity-based life and pensions products.

Founded 33 years ago in the university town of Heidelberg, MLP now has 370,000 customers and is opening a new branch in Germany every week. Clients are mainly high net worth professionals such as economists lawyers, and doctors, with an average age of 34. The company has high persistency rates with only 1 per cent of long-term contracts cancelled. Profits last year rose more than 40 per cent to 108m euros. The firm has some 10 per cent of the market segment it is targeting which is defined as those on incomes of over 3,500 euros a month.

The UK launch is deliberately low key. MLP will officially be starting its UK business next month with 11 advisers. MLP says it wants " to be able to build our relationships from scratch without putting to much pressure on our people on the ground." The firm already operates in Holland and Austria.

Unlike the traditional UK IFA firm, which tends to be regionally based and often relies on a panel of suppliers, MLP recruits almost exclusively from graduates and relies heavily on new technologies to provide tailor-made financial advice. Staff are also subjected to rigorous training courses. After a basic introductory seminar, each MLP advisor is required to spend at least 27 working days at training courses each year.

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