CompaniesMay 28 2013

Sterling McCall: Acquisitions set to double our AUM

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Derbyshire-based advice firm Sterling McCall is in acquisition talks with three adviser firms and aims to double its assets under management this year.

Although the names of the firms cannot be disclosed until the deals are finalised, Sterling McCall operations manager Steve Moseley told FTAdviser the deals would bring total AUM to £600m if all three are completed, up from where it currently stands at £300m.

According to Mr Moseley, the repercussions of the Retail Distribution Review have led many smaller advice firms to realise they cannot sustain themselves.

The deals would also bring 10 more advisers under the Sterling McCall umbrella, contributing to a total adviser stable of 22 individuals.

Mr Moseley said: “I think the RDR is actually starting to bite on IFAs’ profits and they are looking to be part of larger firms and follow a more rigid process to do business rather than fold.”

He added that his firm is focused on IT and model portfolios to make it easier to manage and keep costs down.

Mr Moseley said: “In the future it’s all going to be about profitability and I’m meeting firms where they are grossly overspending. One firm was spending 75 per cent of its income on staff and overheads.

“People are looking at accounts and saying ‘this just can’t operate in the future, I have got too many staff to run on the income we have got coming in.”

Earlier this year (9 April) Sterling McCall bought Grimsby-based IFA Sutcliffe Solloway Financial Planning, the ninth firm to be acquired by Sterling in the past four years.

Sutcliffe Solloway’s sole adviser Mike Sharpe joined Sterling McCall following the acquisition.