Succession Wealth: Aviva deal has seen more IFAs approach us

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Succession Wealth: Aviva deal has seen more IFAs approach us
Paul Morrish, founder of Succession Wealth
BySonia Rach

Succession Wealth’s founder Paul Morrish said its deal with Aviva has seen more IFA firms approach him directly, as opposed to the other way round.

Speaking to FTAdviser, Morrish said in 2022, the firm was close to hitting £3bn in assets under administration which he said was down to there being a lot of opportunity and firms available to them. 

“If we did the same again next year, that'd be great.”

Morrish said the big question for him is about what firms are going to be available in the acquisitions market and what that will look like from a quality perspective.

“We've got a couple of deals in due diligence at the moment,” he said. “There's a long list of firms of various shapes and sizes which we're quite well advanced with and would expect [to complete] in the early part of this year.

Last March, Aviva bought Succession Wealth in a deal worth up to £385mn.

At the time, Aviva said the deal “significantly enhances” its presence in the wealth market as more people seek advice for their retirement and savings options. 

The company said through Succession Wealth, Aviva will be able to offer advice to approximately six million of its customers.

Of these, four million are workplace pension customers with £96bn assets under management, and approximately two million individual pensions and savings customers with £139bn AUM.

In 2021, Morrish said he took one in 17 firms that were offered to the firm into a second conversation. 

“Last year, this was one in 19,” he said. “I'm trying to keep the threshold of quality, but now it is more about fit.”

However, he said since the Aviva deal, the dynamic has changed for the business. 

“There was always a question about what the market would react like, but the unexpected surprise for me has been the number of firms who contacted me directly because partly, they know we’ve got the money. 

“Another part is also the security and being part of [Aviva] and I hope we've made a good job of getting the message out there that it is business as usual.”

Last October, Succession Wealth bought Yorkshire-based advice firm G+E Wealth Management, marking the first acquisition under Aviva’s ownership.

G+E Wealth Management was founded in 2006, manages around £800mn for clients across Yorkshire and has three offices: one in York and two in Leeds.

At the time, the firm said this purchase was an important expansion in the north of England.

Discussing the deal, Morrish said: “My initial concern was how do we make sure that we are seen as business as usual, but that didn't really come to anything.