Standard Life  

1825 acquires £1.7bn Grant Thornton advice business

1825 acquires £1.7bn Grant Thornton advice business

Standard Life’s financial planning and advice business 1825 is to acquire Grant Thornton's wealth advisory unit, adding £1.7bn in assets under advice.. 

The acquisition, set to take place in the fourth quarter of 2019, will increase 1825’s assets under advice by more than 40 per cent to £5.8bn. 

1825’s largest acquisition to date involves more than 100 employees, including 34 financial advisers, who will be joining the business from Grant Thornton. 

Dave Dunckley, CEO of Grant Thornton UK, said current clients would "undoubtedly be better served" under 1825 as he admitted that the growth potential of the wealth advisory unit would be improved under a business solely focused on the financial advice market.

Mr Dunckley said: "It makes practical sense for the team to be in an environment in which it can flourish."

This will be 1825’s eight acquisition since it launched four years ago. Most recently the financial advice business acquired BDO Northern Ireland’s wealth management arm with £230m of assets under advice brought into the business. 

Julie Scott, CEO of 1825, said the latest move meant 1825 will be well-placed to provide more people with financial advice and that it was "very much aligned" with Grant Thornton in its "desire to offer the best quality advice" to clients.

Ms Scott continued that 1825 was "excited about the future" and looked forward to welcoming the team.

Grant Thornton’s current wealth advisory business, led by Neil Messenger, provides advice on all aspects of financial planning through its UK-wide financial planning team and client support centres in Belfast and Sheffield.

The staff will now join 1825 in providing financial advice. 

Standard Life’s launch of 1825 in July 2015, saw it join the ranks of what are known as "vertically integrated" firms, offering advice as well as selling products. 

tali.fraser@ft.com