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Fierce competition curbs Bradbury Hamilton’s M&A plans

Fierce competition curbs Bradbury Hamilton’s M&A plans

Frenetic merger and acquisition activity in the advice sector has inflated prices to the extent many firms are no longer attractive, according to Bradbury Hamilton’s managing director, who said he is not currently looking for purchases.

Sheriar Bradbury said he would talk to any adviser who approached him wanting to sell, but is not actively looking for opportunities.

“If somebody came along and said they have got a client bank to sell, I would be happy to look at purchasing it,” he said.

“But a lot of people are also looking to buy and the key is to find value”.

Between 1993 and 2013, Bradbury Hamilton acquired some 48 IFA client banks, but ended up making no acquisitions during the year to the end of September.

“The client bank we look for, which is becoming rarer and rarer, is the old fashioned transactional type,” Mr Badbury said.

He added he and his team are already kept busy by their large database of clients

“I was buying client banks before it was fashionable, but it has become quite competitive,” he said.

In January Bradbury Hamilton posted its best ever financial results, with pre-tax profits of £823,379 for the year ended 30 September, a 168 per cent increase on the £306,639 made during the same period in 2014.

But the adviser-acquirer is facing increasing competition from much larger players, as well-known financial giants return to advice.

Standard Life’s restricted advice arm, 1825, has been perhaps the most prominent company to buy up IFA firms in recent months, snapping up Almary Green, Munro Partnership and Baigrie Davies.

Mr Bradbury said he had recently been approached to sell his company, but declined to say who by.

“The reality of the situation is that just about every IFA will have been approached at some point this year,” he said, adding his preference would be to remain independent, although he could envisage a time when being restricted could be attractive.

“I wouldn’t want to be restricted, because it hampers you in terms of what you can do, but there could be a situation when there isn’t a lot of difference between independent and restricted and I can see that happening in the future.”