In Focus: Profitable advice business  

Under 30 wealth boss: 'Five-year plan is to get to £1bn mark'

Under 30 wealth boss: 'Five-year plan is to get to £1bn mark'
Chief executive of BRI Wealth Management, Dan Boardman-Weston

BRI Wealth Management and its 29-year-old boss are gunning for £1bn in client assets as the firm kicks off a five-year growth plan.

Currently, the business - which has a financial planning side and a discretionary fund management arm - manages £500mn.

The firm wants to double this figure, primarily through a series of bolt-on acquisitions.

BRI Wealth's boss, Dan Boardman-Weston, joined the wealth manager in 2011 after he had just finished his A-Levels.

“While the rest of my friends at university were drinking, I was stuck with spreadsheets,” he told FTAdviser.

Having joined as a teenager, Boardman-Weston spent the past 10 or more years learning the ins and outs of the business before his father, Simon, passed over the reins in March

“I’ve had to earn my stripes. If anything, my father is harder on me. It has been many years and hours on the investment side.”

Boardman-Weston also left for a year in 2017 to complete an MBA at Warwick University. He said this was “crucial” to gaining a broader brush of skills, such as operations, marketing, and leadership.

Now, some four months into the top role, he has his eye set on big growth targets for the business which he intends to fuel with bolt-on acquisitions.

“We’re going places. We’re gaining a lot of traction with clients,” said Boardman-Weston. “Our five-year plan is to get to the £1bn mark. We’ve got a strong balance sheet, so doing some small acquisitions seems sensible to boost growth.”

BRI Wealth was bought by its major shareholder - Dan’s father - back in 1992 when it managed £6mn of client assets.

When Dan joined, the Meriden-based company was managing £100mn. Today, this figure has grown to £500mn.

Traditionally, the company has grown organically through referrals - both from clients and IFA partners, or through expanding current services to existing clients.

In order to double its assets, BRI Wealth intends to buy a steady stream of small, one-person IFAs looking to sell up, but not to a consolidator.

“A deal like this will completely change how their clients are looked after, so it’s important to  find the right buyer. That’s why we’re looking at bolt-ons. We will never compromise client service,” said Boardman-Weston.

“I find it interesting how many firms are being bought, and how much private equity money there is. I’m not sure if it always ends well, lots of large firms versus smaller firms. I’m not sure it’s a good thing for the consumer, having that much market share at the top.

“They will reach a scale, do the private equity dance and then play pass the parcel, either to a trade buyer, they’ll float on the market, or sell to foreign firm.”