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Stockton will maintain Bellpenny acquisition pace

Stockton will maintain Bellpenny acquisition pace

Consolidator Bellpenny is looking to become a truly national firm under new chief executive Nigel Stockton’s helm, with no anticipated slowdown in the rate of acquisitions.

Speaking to FTAdviser, Mr Stockton explained that after formally joining at the start of September, the board will certainly take a look at the firm’s future direction, but there is not expected to be any major strategic shift.

“A consequence of the RDR was that it has become increasingly tough for smaller advisory businesses to give advice in a way the regulator and customers are happy with. This gives opportunities for consolidation plays and building a truly national advice service.”

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Bellpenny has been busy already this year, with a deal earlier this month for London-based Cranfield Financial Services for an undisclosed sum bringing its total number of acquisitions since it October 2012 launch to 29.

Acquisitions director Dominic Rose previously suggested that he expects them to complete another 10 adviser acquisitions before the year is out, adding to the 10 completed first half of 2015.

Mr Stockton agreed that there appeared to be no let up in the pipeline of prospective deals, adding that “there will always be people looking to sell at the right price”.

His predecessor in the role, Kevin Ronaldson, the man who oversaw growth to more than £3bn funds under management and 70 financial planners, will now move to become founder director, a role where Mr Stockton said he will be able to give guidance and act as a sounding board for big decisions.

“He has neglected other interests over the last few years, so its only right that he takes a step back, but thankfully for my transition I’ll still be able to lean on him. It also helps that I’ve always been involved with the firm as an investor.”

peter.walker@ft.com