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MSS Group announces acquisition of significant shareholding in the Connect network

Connect IFA Ltd, the specialist mortgage network, has today (11th March 2022) announced Mortgage & Surveying Services (MSS), the national property services group with interests in surveying, valuations, mortgage services and adviser technology, has acquired a significant stake in the business.

MSS Group is also the parent of mortgage network, Stonebridge.

The substantial investment by MSS will enhance Connect’s financial strength and give it the ability to make further developments to its proposition as it continues to increase its UK footprint, build on being one of the fastest-growing business of its kind and strengthen its position as the market’s leading specialist network.

The deal is subject to FCA approval.

Connect already has over 250 appointed representative (AR) advisers within the network and is looking to increase this number significantly over time. Across both Stonebridge and Connect, MSS will now support over 1,450 mortgage advisers.

Connect said the MSS investment, and the existing companies in its Group working closely together, would deliver greater scale and influence across the lending, insurance and surveying sectors.

Liz Syms (CEO), Kevin Thomson (Sales Director) and Jane Benjamin (Director, Mortgages) all remain in place as the Connect senior leadership team. MSS representatives will join the Connect Board in a non-executive capacity.

Commenting on today’s news, Liz Syms, CEO of Connect, said:

“This marks the next step in the evolution of Connect and will enhance our position as a major player in the specialist mortgage network market. The operations of both groups overlap without competing and by working together we will be able to secure additional benefits and operating efficiencies. We are really looking forward to working with the MSS team who have an impressive background in supporting business growth. The financial stability and logistical support provided by MSS will enable us to further develop our already market-leading proposition in order that we are able to continue the significant growth we have achieved over the past two years.”

Commenting on its investment, MSS Group CCO, Rob Clifford, added:

“Liz Syms and her team have done a hugely impressive job of building a fantastic business at Connect and one which we have admired for some years – we are really looking forward to working with them to help support their growth plans. MSS already has extensive relationships with mortgage lenders as a surveying and valuations partner and we intend to extend the group’s reach in terms of aggregating mortgage lending and building deeper relationships with those lenders.”

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