CompaniesNov 9 2015

Consolidator buys Devon-based advice firm

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Consolidator buys Devon-based advice firm

The deal has secured a £50m increase in the amount of funds managed by the firm with the Fairstone Group now being responsible for £2.1 bn.

Three thousand clients will be add to the firm’s existing 30,000 strong portfolio by the deal, with 10 advisers adding to its 240 strong adviser base.

David Roberts, director at South West Financial Planning, said: “Fairstone’s DBO proposition is undoubtedly an attractive one.

“It doesn’t just focus on the traditional proposition of saving on compliance and regulatory workload. It’s much more than that; it’s about investing in the future and providing long term benefits for clients, advisers and principals alike.”

Lee Hartley, chief executive of Fairstone, said: “We’re delighted to welcome South West Financial Planning to the Fairstone Group.

“The team represents a great cultural fit with us, and we’re looking forward to working together to grow our combined client base over the coming years.

“Fairstone has seen very significant growth over the past few years, both organically and through acquisition. Since 2011, 35 advisory firms have joined the business and it continues to seek high quality financial services companies to partner with and ultimately acquire.”

Speaking to FTAdviser last month, Mr Hartley said the UK was currently a seller’s market but many firms are nowhere near ready to be bought.

“Most firms are just not in a position to be acquired, as their management structures are poor and they have a lot of legacy issues to sort through,” he explained.

His views were backed up by both market analysis from consultancy Harrison Spence which suggested valuations achieved by advisory firms being sold at the moment are at an all-time high, and commentary from Standards International founder Michelle Hoskin that most IFAs do not apply the same quality standards to their business practices as they do to work with clients.