Stonebridge Group, the mortgage and insurance network, has today announced "larger players" Crystal Clear Financial Planning as its latest recruit.

Crystal Clear become part of Stonebridge as an appointed representative firm and will be bringing its 16 advisers under the network umbrella.

The business is run by directors, Darren Burdis and Paul Hancox, with a main office in Derby but also offices in Knowle and Newcastle-under Lyme. Both directors used to be Sales Managers at Co-op Insurance Services before setting up Crystal Clear.

The firm is particularly experienced in the new-build sector and is keen to develop relationships with local builders and developers. It is an area they will be looking to expand further into with support from Stonebridge Group.

Stonebridge recently announced very strong yearly and monthly growth in the number and value of mortgages it has completed in quarter one this year. Compared to quarter one 2014, the number of mortgage completion cases for the first three months of 2015 were up 59%, while the value of those cases were up by 62%.

The network has also seen an ongoing increase in the number of AR firms within it - an independent review of network numbers for 2014 showed Stonebridge had added 51 ARs, an increase of 22% on 2013.

Richard Adams, Managing Director of Stonebridge Group, commented:

“In developing our proposition, the financial strength of our network offering and the range of services we can offer AR firms, we are beginning to see more and more interest in what we can offer. This is why larger players like Crystal Clear are moving to Stonebridge and we believe we now provide the natural home for ambitious and high-quality advisory practices. Certainly from our initial meetings with Darren and Paul we could see a large number of areas where we were able to support their development, particularly in the new-build market and we will be working very closely in order to add to their service offering here. As the statistics show Stonebridge continues to grow our AR firm numbers whilst maintaining our service offering, and we are keen to speak to like-minded firms about how we can help and support their businesses.”

Darren Burdis, Director at Crystal Clear Financial Planning Ltd, said:

“At the end of the day you get a gut feeling about people and in all of our meetings with Richard and his team, we found them to be very approachable and they strongly believe the people they work with are vital in making any relationship work. We have a culture that is built around our people – they are our greatest strength and asset. Crystal Clear, like Stonebridge, is also a company built on values, principles and trust; we are also committed to working face-to-face and providing the highest levels of customer service to ensure a truly outstanding home purchase experience. Stonebridge appealed to us because they are incredibly committed to helping firms like ours grow our business and have the resources available to deliver on that promise.”