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Frenkel Topping in discussion with acquisition targets

Frenkel Topping in discussion with acquisition targets

Financial advice and discretionary fund management company Frenkel Topping is discussing potential acquisitions to expand its divorce business, according to chief executive Richard Fraser. 

Frenkel Topping’s financial advice business works exclusively with those who have received personal injury or clinical negligence compensation. This side of the business will not expand through acquisition, but rather through the hiring and training of new advisers.

Mr Fraser said: “Because of the specialist nature of the business we have, recruiting advisers is tough, so we set up the academy. The new group started yesterday, and they will work in all areas of the business."

The company also owns a generalist independent financial advice brand Orbiter, which it launched last year.

Both of its financial advice brands operate by providing "expert witnesses" in legal cases. The service that concentrates on personal injury cases provides expert witnesses in court to explain the financial planning needs of the individuals receiving a settlement. Frenkel Topping then aspires to work with those individuals as their financial adviser.

The Orbiter financial advice business also carries out expert witness work in divorces and wills and probate cases.

Mr Fraser said: "All of our work comes from barristers and lawyers, and they were approaching us with work relating to wills and divorces, so we thought that was an opportunity for us, but we didn’t want to dilute the core brand. So we launched Obiter.

"It is an area where we want to make acquisitions, we are interested in firms that are owner-managed with maybe one or two advisers, and maybe managing assets of £50m. We think there are a lot of advisers in their 50s who are getting ready to retire, and maybe don’t want to sell to a consolidator. We are in active discussions with firms."

For the six months to the end of June 20129, the company reported assets under management of £851m, which is 12 per cent higher than the previous year. The company had a profit of £596,000, which was more than twice the level achieved in the same period last year.

In his notes accompanying the results Mr Fraser wrote: “We are trading in line with management’s expectations and expect to continue to invest in the business to ensure future growth. The board is mindful of the broader political and economic uncertainty but remains confident that our strong platform, together with our high client retention rate and ability to generate new business will enable us to deliver growth in the second half of 2019 and beyond.”

david.thorpe@ft.com