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  • Tobias Hayes

January 2019 Review

It’s safe to say the year has started with a lot of concern and uncertainty as we get ever closer to the mystery that is Brexit. One thing that doesn’t seem uncertain is the acquisition activity in the wealth management space, with both new and familiar faces making announcements in the first month of 2019.

Sanlam started the year with an early announcement that they have acquired Preston based firm, Astute Wealth Management. Sanlam’s national advice division now has assets of nearly £2 billion with 60 advisers.

With their abundance of acquisition’s last year, AFH have started this year with the same momentum and have completed their first deal of 2019. Half way through the month saw them announce their purchase of Midlands-based Hayburn Rock Financial Planning in a £3.5m deal. They now have £5bn AUA and are aiming to reach £10bn by 2024.

Harwood Wealth Management who also acquired a large number of businesses last year (9 to be exact) have started this year with an early completion on Hampshire-based IFA GD White for £1.5 million. Harwood are again set to make a number of acquisitions in 2019 and have already issued Heads of Terms to a further eight firms, two of which have already been signed…watch this space.

Perspective Financial Group has acquired Newcastle-based IFA Galloway Whitfield (Life & Pensions). Galloway Whitfield came with £50m of assets and £300k of turnover. Perspective have said that they are due to announce a further two acquisitions in the coming months, and 3 others later in the year.

Quilter Private Client Advisers have made not one but two acquisitions already this year. Stockport-based Freedom Financial Planning and Reading-based Stephen Spires Financial Consultants will both join Quilter with a combined amount of £130m AUA.

The AIM-listed wealth manager Kingswood has also started the year with a purchase in the way of Oxford based firm Thomas & Co. The £3.3m deal comes with £150m of assets and around 500 clients. Kingswood now sit with just under £2bn of assets and will look to grow further.

It’s quite clear that whatever else is going on around us M&A in the wealth management space continues to boom. With such a busy start to the year, we expect it to continue as we see lots of firms make plans to grow further. Let’s see if February turns out to be nearly as busy as January.

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