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Aim-listed adviser eyes acquisitions as losses deepen

Aim-listed adviser eyes acquisitions as losses deepen

KW Wealth, the company formerly known as European Wealth, has posted a loss before tax of £1.5m in the first half of 2018.

This was an increased loss from the £800,000 posted the same period last year and has been attributed to the money spent on restructuring the business.

During the first half of 2018 KW Wealth rebranded, sold its Swiss business and restructured its business, cutting costs by £1.4m.

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Marianne Ismail, the company's chief executive, said: "The group has now entered a new phase of development.

"As we prepare for the future we have restructured and streamlined our investment management team, hired new investment managers and added to our in-house research team. We have also recruited several wealth planners in a very tight market.

"Looking ahead, we are ambitious to grow both organically and dynamically by acquisition in both the UK and US."

Earlier this year KW Wealth's attempt to enter the US market by acquisition failed when a deal to buy US broker-dealer firm Newbridge Securities Corporation and its affiliated investment advice business fell through.

During the first half of 2018 the company posted revenue of £4.8m and saw its funds under management and administration grow from £1.7bn at the end of December 2017 to £1.8bn at the end of June 2018.

KW Wealth also said "significant" refinancing in May 2018 had resulted in a debt free balance sheet with net cash for the first time since the company was admitted to the Aim in 2014.

It also said it had created a "robust" in-house acquisitions due diligence and integration team which will focus on the UK and the US and said it has a pipeline of advice firm acquisitions, focused on "earnings accretive" businesses.

Ms Ismail said: "Our strong focus in the UK market is to grow the number of wealth planners to take advantage of capacity in our established para-planning group, as well as compliment our investment management capabilities.

"The opportunity for our group [in the US market] lies in partnerships with smaller successful firms with a strong cultural fit with our existing business. There are many opportunities being presented to the group on a weekly basis."