Beachcrofts launches financial consultancy

National firm Beachcroft Wansbroughs has diversified into financial consultancy. Its new business, Beachcroft Wansbroughs Consulting, will be launched at the beginning of July.
The new company will be led by former Financial Services Authority (FSA) personnel Richard Hobbs and Oliver Lodge and is primed to provide regulatory advice to a host of financial services companies, including insurance companies, investment managers, banks, brokers and building societies.
Beachcrofts senior partner Lord Hunt said that lawyers needed to seize back this consulting role from the accountancy firms. He said: “I believe, and have said on several occasions, that lawyers have often missed the boat.
“There is enormous potential for lawyers to extend their service into consultancy.
“My message to the profession is that I want to see more competition in consultancy from lawyers.”
He added: “We are very pleased to have secured Richard and Oliver because they are both leading names in the market.”
Hobbs has spent the past two years as an independent consultant, advising the FSA, among other clients. He has worked at the FSA, in the Insurance Directorate of the Department of Trade and Industry, and at the Association of British Insurers, where he was head of life insurance for more than three years.
Prior to establishing Beachcroft Wansbroughs Consulting, Lodge worked at the Investment Management Regulatory Organisation (Imro) and then the FSA when Imro was subsumed by it. At Imro he was head of investment funds policy and has continued to work in this field at the FSA.
In addition to its consulting arm, Beachcrofts has also branched out with a new product, Risk Counsel. Headed by partner Tony Cherry, Risk Counsel offers clients a multidisciplinary team of contentious and non-contentious practitioners.
Hunt explained that the new holistic service was a response to clients' needs. He said: “In talking to our clients they have said they need more advice on risk management.”
To avoid potential conflicts between the financial consultancy service and his role as chairman of the Independent Association of Financial Advisers (IAFA), Hunt has decided to step down from IAFA.