Mergers and acquisitions  

Amber River Group buys Cheltenham-based IFA

Amber River Group buys Cheltenham-based IFA

Private equity-backed advice firm Amber River Group, previously known as Socium Group, has bought Cheltenham-based advice firm HDA, taking its assets under influence to £6.7bn.

The purchase by Amber River will see four advisers and £380mn of assets under advice move over to the group. 

Robin Etherington, chief executive officer of HDA, said: "We're all very excited to be part of the Amber River family and we're looking forward to working together with the central team, alongside the regional Hub CEOs.”

In 2018, support services provider Benchmark Capital bought a 24 per cent stake in HDA, but this was repurchased by the directors of HDA in 2021, prior to the business being bought by Amber River.

Amber River Group now has eight financial advice businesses across 20 locations nationwide.

It has a total of 199 advisers and looks after 18,000 clients with around £6.7bn of assets.

Mary-Anne McIntyre, chief executive officer at Amber River, said: "It's fantastic that Robin and the team have chosen to join us. Their business is very well-established and has earned a premium reputation in the Cheltenham and Cotswolds area. 

“From our very first meeting with Robin, we knew we were ideally suited, and we can both see huge potential for HDA to continue to expand their proposition and services with our support, for the benefit of their clients and staff."

In January, Exeter-based Shipman Group bought MHA Monahans Wealth Management from chartered accountants MHA Monahan as part of its expansion in the South-West.

Shipman Group is a firm of independent financial advisers, based in Exeter and founded in 1935. It has also joined forces with a number of regional IFAs which collectively are called Amber River, previously known as Socium Group.

Socium, whose chief executive is Mary-Anne McIntyre - former head of Openwork - has a five-year plan to build a 300 adviser-strong business.

As part of the deal, the newly rebranded Shipman Monahans Wealth Management will continue to be based at the Bath, Swindon and Trowbridge offices.

All 27 members of staff will remain in place, with Simon Ewings continuing as managing director.

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