Stonebridge, the national mortgage and insurance network, has today launched a further enhancement to its Compliance Operating Model which it says will mean further individual support to its 500-plus appointed representative (AR) firms, as well as the creation of a new compliance team specifically for new joiners.
The updated model ensures each AR’s respective Business Standards team is based on the profile of the firm, with larger and rapidly-growing ARs supervised by dedicated teams, while smaller/sole trader operators have their own dedicated support units meeting their different needs.
Stonebridge said the change will allow for an even more tailored approach for individual member firms, plus a number of additional benefits including greater access and support from the network’s field-based Business Standards Managers, both virtually and face-to-face.
In addition to these measures, Stonebridge has also created a New Partner Compliance team which it says will assist new firms and advisers in attaining competent status by providing more focused support and training in the early stages of trading as a member of the network.
Running alongside the existing Business Standards teams and the New Partner Compliance Team will be both a Compliance Development and Compliance Operations Team, all working together to provide a coherent support package throughout the various stages and cycles of a firm’s development within the network.
Due to the network’s growth trajectory, Stonebridge has also invested further in its personnel with a series of internal promotions and the creation of eight new permanent roles at its Basildon Head Office, bringing the total number of employees at Stonebridge to over 115.
Rob Clifford, Chief Executive of Stonebridge, commented: “As the network continues to grow, it is vitally important we support our exciting trajectory by continually enhancing our already excellent compliance operating model so it can continue to deliver the bespoke and tailored support each of our AR firms has come to expect.
“Stonebridge moved away some years ago from the ‘one size fits all’ supervision approach that some networks still seem to use, and this latest enhancement to our model further develops our concept of bespoke support, appropriate to the size and risk-weighting of each AR firm.
“We also have the establishment of the New Partner Compliance team and its aim is two-fold: to provide a dedicated service for new firms and advisers as they transition into our supervision program, and to allow the remaining Business Standards teams to focus purely on delivering quality service and support to the existing 1,000-plus advisers currently operating within the network.
“The Compliance Operating Model is a vitally important part of our overall offering, and we will continue to invest money, time and resources into it, in order to maintain the excellent results it has already achieved.
“We have added considerably in terms of support staff, particularly the promotion of existing staff within the Business Standards’ team and the creation and recruitment of eight additional full-time roles in order to make sure our members have the coverage, access, and support they need to continue growing while ensuring their business quality is of the very highest standard.”
Jon Stones, Managing Director of Mortgage 1st, said: “These enhancements to the Stonebridge compliance model means we’ll continue to receive bespoke tailored support as we continue to grow the number of advisers in our business. Not being subjected to a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to compliance support is just one of the ways Stonebridge has always supported us to achieve that goal. As a firm that has been part of the Stonebridge network for over 10 years, their continuing investment in new support staff means our advisers, now and in the future, will have the support they need to continue delivering the best outcome for clients.”
Rebecca Shuttle, Principal and Director of MIMA Mortgage & Protection Advice, added: “The Stonebridge compliance model was already positively received by us at MIMA Mortgage and Protection Advice, and these additions and extensions of that service means we’ll receive even more tailored support, based on what we need as a firm today but also with an eye on the future. For me, these exciting changes show that Stonebridge is a network working in true partnership with, and for, its members.”