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Tilney buys Smith & Williamson in £625m deal

Tilney buys Smith & Williamson in £625m deal

Wealth manager Tilney has continued its acquisition spree with the purchase of Smith & Williamson for £625m.

The combined entity, which will be called Tilney Smith & Williamson, will have assets under management of £45bn, of which 80 per cent will be run by discretionary fund managers. 

Both Tilney and Smith & Williamson have investment management operations, while Tilney also owns the Towry financial advice business, which it bought in 2016, and the Bestinvest direct-to-consumer platform.

Smith & Williamson is an accountancy and tax advice firm, and runs a model portfolio service operated by James Burns. 

Current Smith & Williamson shareholders will receive a combination of cash and shares in the new company. 

The company will invest in technology after the merger, and will have offices in 36 towns and cities around the country. The combined group will employ 260 financial planners, and 280 investment managers. 

Tilney bought the financial advice business of Moore Stephens at the start of 2019, and last year spent £1.7m on assessing acquisitions. 

Smith & Williamson has been for sale for some time and in 2017 it held discussions with Rathbones, though that deal did not complete. 

Current Tilney chief executive Chris Woodhouse will run the combined company, while its chairman Will Samuel will become its chairman. 

Kevin Stopps and David Cobb, the joint chief executives of Smith and Williamson will join the board of the combined company. 

Mr Woodhouse said: “The merger of Tilney and Smith & Williamson represents a compelling combination and together we will look to build on the considerable and complementary strengths of both firms.

"Like Tilney, Smith & Williamson has an excellent reputation for looking after its clients over many years and we recognise the value its culture and expertise will bring to the combined group.

"This is a transformational deal, which will create a truly unique business, able to support clients from across the wealth spectrum with a comprehensive range of services for both their personal wealth management and business needs."

david.thorpe@ft.com