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Read it now: M&A valuations spike & IFA success over missing £55k

Read it now: M&A valuations spike & IFA success over missing £55k

Adviser businesses are enjoying a "perfect moment" in terms of merger and acquisition activity, with good businesses seeing a spike in valuations and secure, recurring fee income for buyers.

Lee Hartley, chief executive of Fairstone, and Louise Jeffreys, managing director at introducer Gunner & Co, have spoken of the "solidity" of acquired businesses, which are providing secure, recurring income fees.

Ms Jeffreys said the adviser M&A market was in a "perfect moment", with consolidation driven at ever greater speed and scale as a result of an ageing demographic of sellers and an increasing regulatory burden on small businesses. 

The comments came as national wealth manager Fairstone told FTAdviser it has spent an additional £5.4m on acquired businesses that exceeded their initial target value over the past nine years. 

In earn-out data for the 45 companies integrated into the Fairstone model since 2011, one in six companies joining the company via its downstream buyout model received more than 135 per cent of its original sale value.

Elsewhere, reporter Amy Austin revealed how an adviser managed to reunite a client with his pension after a withdrawn transfer request meant the £55,000 fund was lost for nearly two months.

Julian Pruggmayer, director at Financial Risk Management, criticised providers Phoenix Life and Aviva after he spent several weeks being bounced between the providers while trying to locate and get the funds sent back to his client.

He said: ‘For years, this client had been saving into a pension in order to provide for his family in retirement.

"Due to lockdown he was wanting to access his pension commencement lump sum so he could discharge his mortgage to avoid possible arrears. 

“The result is that for almost [seven] weeks he has been waiting for his money, not even knowing where it is.”

After Financial Adviser became involved, Phoenix returned the funds on November 6 and they arrived with Aviva on November 10.

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