Mortgage and protection network Stonebridge has agreed to sell national property services Shepherd Direct a minority stake in the independently-owned business.
Stonebridge Group said the investment by Shepherd Direct will enhance Stonebridge's financial strength and give it the ability to make further improvements to its proposition as it continues ambitious growth plans.
Stonebridge has 175 appointed representative (AR) firms within the network and is looking to increase this number significantly by the year end.
It also has plans to expand the number of directly authorised firms who use its point of sale system, Revolution, together with its mortgage, protection and general insurance panels.
Richard Adams, managing director of Stonebridge, said: "This marks the next step in the evolution of Stonebridge Group and will enhance our position as a major player in the mortgage and protection 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.
He added: "The financial stability and logistical support provided by Shepherd Direct 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."
Shepherd Direct group CEO Paul Gratton, added: "Richard Adams and his team have done a hugely impressive job of building a fantastic business at Stonebridge - we are really looking forward to working with them to help support their ambitious growth plans both organically and through selective M&A. Shepherd Direct 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."
Based in Basildon in Essex, Stonebridge Group launched in 1988 as an independent brokerage in which its bespoke technology solution, Revolution, plays a large part.
In November 2010, Stonebridge Group changed its FSA permissions and completed full authorisation of its membership of at that time 60 members.
Stonebridge ARs receive weekly commission payments, strategic business planning on issues like recruitment and sales support and client bank management among other business support structures.