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Financial planner set to complete management buyout

Financial planner set to complete management buyout

A financial planning company is set to complete a two-year management buyout as it aims to more than double its assets under management to £1bn. 

Adrian Johnston, founder and chairman of Johnston Financial, will sell his remaining 27 per cent stake in the company to business partner John McArdle in October.

Mr McArdle became managing director in May last year and following the management buyout will own 90 per cent of the financial planning company, with director Suzanne Gray owning the remaining 10 per cent stake. 

Johnston Financial was established in Edinburgh in 1987 and now has more than £420m of assets under management, but the company has plans to more than double this number to £1bn in the next five years. 

Mr McArdle joined the business in 1997 as a financial planner and went on to become a 50/50 shareholder in the company, using retained profits to fund the buyout deal. 

He said: "Adrian started the business from one room in an office in Northumberland Street back in the 1980s. We are still in Northumberland Street today, but now have 2,000 active clients, a turnover of more than £2m a year and occupy three floors of the same building.

"It’s testament to his vision and talent that the company has built not only such deep and loyal client base, but also a strong and talented 18-strong team. All of this gives us the perfect platform to evolve and grow even further."

Mr McArdle added: "After such an impressive career, it was only right that we made sure succession was also going to be as smooth and seamless as possible. Indeed, we’ve been speaking with our clients about this for many years to prepare them.

"What’s most pleasing is that this allows Adrian to keep an active role in the company as he winds down until retirement." 

But Mr McArdle said the incoming period would be one of "evolution, not of wholesale change".

He said: "Interestingly for us, we seem to be the automatic choice for investment professionals seeking financial planning. However, in terms of the wider public we have rather flown under the radar. Now the time is right to switch things up."

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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