Your IndustryAug 16 2017

Ascot Lloyd Bellpenny eyeing up 'just about anything'

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Ascot Lloyd Bellpenny eyeing up 'just about anything'

The chief executive of Ascot Lloyd Bellpenny has said the company’s new-found scale will allow it to buy “just about anything”.

But despite this eye to further growth through acquisition, Nigel Stockton said the company would not return to the same levels of consolidation activity as several years ago.

Just weeks since the merger between Ascot Lloyd and Bellpenny, Mr Stockton said the tie up had been going well and the company’s new scale would allow it to consolidate more.

“We want to continue looking for opportunities and when they are available we will take them," Mr Stockton said.

“We have been looking at fewer, larger deals and the merger allows us to go for just about anything in the market

“My belief is that we are not at the end of any consolidation and this is just the start.”

Before the merger, Mr Stockton admitted his company, Bellpenny, had not been as active in the acquisition market as other consolidators.

“There is no shortage of firms to be consolidated.

“We have said quite openly that we did a lot of acquisitions initially at the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015 and it was important to settle things down and move forward.

“We don’t need to act with the same haste now and at the time we were establishing our scale.

“We are not going to be buying five or six firms at a time but there is still a lot of scope," he said.

“We have a regulator who doesn’t object to consolidation.”

Mr Stockton added that the deal would allow Ascot Lloyd Bellpenny to invest in its client proposition, including apps and hybrid advice.

The company is looking to launch a hybrid advice proposition using telephony in the first or second quarter of next year, he said.

The merger between Ascot Lloyd and Bellpenny went ahead last month, creating a financial planning firm with £6bn in funds under management.

The combined organisation has more than 100 advisers, looking after more than 40,000 fee-paying clients. 

It becomes one of the largest independently-owned wealth management businesses in the UK.