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How Tilney hopes to make Smith & Williamson deal work

How Tilney hopes to make Smith & Williamson deal work

The chance to have a product suitable for “every type of client” and £150m of revenue gains were key to making Tilney’s acquisition of Smith and Williamson work, according to chief executive Chris Woodhouse.

Commenting in the aftermath of the announcement of the £625m deal, Mr Woodhouse told FTAdviser: “The whole idea is we can have the scale to work with every client from top to bottom in terms of wealth.

"We think every client should have a financial plan, and at the start of their lives that plan will be quite simple, and the pot of assets quite small, but as they move through life the plan will get more complicated and the pot of assets will grow.

"With this deal we can work with the clients at all of those stages, and I think that is quite unique."

David Cobb, co-chief executive of Smith & Williamson said: "I think we would be about the only firm that offers all of that. A lot of the clients of the accountancy business are the owner managers of their own business, and we want to be able to offer them both the professional services for their company, and the financial planning for themselves."

Mr Woodhouse said that while Tilney has a large number of financial planners, Smith & Williamson had a large number of investment managers. He regards the model portfolio service offered by Smith & Williamson as suitable for clients in the early stages of their financial plan. 

The companies both have a London office, and the intention is, in time, to combine those into one, most likely the office that Smith and Williamson have already signed a lease to take on in 2022 in Gresham Street.

Mr Woodhouse said the expectation is the combined group will have earnings of £150m from day one, but the process of combining the companies may see this increase. 

He added that he expects the enlargement of the group may allow it to attract “more talent” to the various parts of the business. 

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to complete in 2020. 

david.thorpe@ft.com