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Bellpenny upbeat on growth after CWM purchase

Bellpenny upbeat on growth after CWM purchase

Wealth manager Bellpenny has furthered its growth drive after purchasing Hampshire-based City Wealth Management IFAs for an undisclosed sum.

This is the second acquisition of 2015 for Bellpenny, following March’s purchase of Surrey-Based Legal & Professional Services, and its 24th in total.

CWM brings with it £31m in funds under management and 100 clients to add to Bellpenny’s existing £3bn in FUM and 24,000 clients.

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Kevin Ronaldson, chief executive of Bellpenny, said: “CWM provides a premium financial planning service to high net-worth clients in one of the UK’s most prosperous areas.”

He acknowledged that the market for acquisitive firms was becoming more competitive, especially for “high-quality, well-managed IFA businesses” such as CRM, but said he believed that the purchase was a good fit for both firms.

Mr Ronaldson added: “It is a testimony to what we are building at Bellpenny that more and more sellers of CWM’s pedigree view us as the ideal fit – both for them and their clients”.

Angela Gibson, a director of CWM, said: “Our business was founded on the provision of a personal, tailored service. In assessing the various sale options open to us, the priority was to ensure that clients would benefit from a real sense of continuity in this regard.

“Of all the companies we spoke to, it was clear that Bellpenny was best-equipped to deliver this.”

Bellpenny, which launched in 2012 and is backed by Los Angeles-headquartered global investment company Oaktree, has been on a growth drive over the past few years.

In March, Mr Ronaldson said Bellpenny had a vision to become “Britain’s most respected financial advice brand”, and expected to increase staff numbers to reflect the company’s plans.

Bellpenny’s purchase of Legal & Professional Services in March added a further £40m of funds under management and 500 active clients, while December 2014’s acquisition of Unizone helped Bellpenny to pass the £3bn FUM mark.

Background

On 20 April more than 20 Bellpenny staff moved into Glasgow’s Central Business District, the firm having taken a five-year lease on a 6,771 sq ft office suite at 180 West George Street.

This followed Bellpenny’s announcement that it has set up a Midlands hub in Church Street, Birmingham. Brian Spence, managing partner at London-based Harrison Spence, said: “There is no doubt that Bellpenny is growing. It is par for the course for any acquirer, whether a one-man-band or a multinational.

“It is all about IFAs scaling up their businesses with a view to increasing profitability and achieving an eventual exit for greater multiples.”