Clifton Asset Management has continued its acquisition streak by buying a Southsea-based advice firm as it seeks to accelerate its growth plans by sourcing external funding.
Clifton announced its acquisition of Leonard Gold Financial Management today (September 30) as part of its plans to build a regional network of small advice businesses.
Leonard Gold Financial Management, which was originally part of Leonard Gold Chartered Accountants, will initially join Clifton Wealth Partnership as an appointed representative with a pre-agreed purchase to take place in 2021.
Clifton Wealth Partnership, a subsidiary of Clifton Asset Management, was launched in June as a vehicle for smaller advisory firms to either become appointed representatives or join the firm via acquisition.
The firm hopes the process will allow smaller firms to compete with larger rivals by providing access to services and products under the Clifton umbrella.
At the time Clifton’s financial planning director, Anthony Carty, announced the strategy was an effort to “disrupt the established advisory firm acquisition model” as it made the first of “six or seven” expected deals within the next two years by buying Shrewsbury-based Plan For Life Wealth Management.
He also said the “grand vision” was to have £1bn of assets under management within the next five years.
Today, the firm said it was seeking an external source of funding in order to “accelerate its plans” as it had established a “significant pipeline of advice businesses” which were now “acquisition targets”.
Mr Carty said: “Nas Khan and the other partners of Leonard Gold have been a delight to get to know and we are excited to be working with them and their clients over the years to come.
“We have a significant pipeline of potential acquisition and AR firms at the moment.”
Mr Carty said current and foreseeable regulatory pressures — such as Mifid and SMCR — were making life more difficult for smaller firms so joining forces with a larger firm made “eminent sense”.
Mr Khan, principle adviser of Leonard Gold Financial Management, said: “We met with a variety of differing potential acquirers and we felt that the flexible approach that Clifton offers suited our business well.”
Since the acquisition of Plan for Life Wealth Management, Clifton Asset Management has also launched a Viewpoint Portfolio, an investment platform, and partnered with Charles Stanley and Brewin Dolphin, to provide discretionary fund management to advisers.
Mr Carty added: “While we can continue to make modest progress with our consolidation plans via our own resources, we’ve had many very positive conversations with advice businesses, and with a strong pipeline developed, it is now our intention to significantly accelerate those plans and this will require an external funding partner.”
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