National advice firm Chase de Vere is “actively looking” to grow its business by acquiring independent financial advisers.
Patrick Connolly, chartered financial planner and communications director at the firm, told FTAdviser Chase de Vere was keen to grow its business both organically and through acquisitions, so was on the lookout for the right opportunities in the market.
Chase De Vere currently has more than 200 advisers across 17 offices from Glasgow to Exeter servicing about 16,000 clients with £9.8bn of assets.
Mr Connolly said: “We have taken over a few companies and we’re actively looking for acquisition opportunities in the market. We want the business to grow.
“We’re owned by Swiss Life meaning there’s money there to go through with this if the right firm was there.”
Mr Connolly said the most important quality for an IFA was to have a “strong desire and passion” to remain independent and continue to offer whole of market advice.
He added: “In general the firm will just need to have the same ethos as us in terms of client relationships and service.
“No firm would be too big or too small really, just needs to be the right fit with a keenness to stay independent.”
He also thought Chase de Vere was well situated to acquire regional IFAs due to the fact the firm’s offices are spread across the country.
Mr Connolly said the firm would either merge the existing IFA into one of their regional offices or simply “set up a new shop” where the advice firm was already based.
The trend of large advice firms hoovering up smaller IFA business was likely to continue, according to Mr Connolly.
The fact that a large share of advisers are approaching retirement combined with the additional regulations introduced by Mifid II making it expensive to run an advice firm has caused a flurry of acquisition activity in the advice market, which is expected to increase.
Research published by Canada Life last month (October 2) showed a third of advice firms were considering selling their business and two in five anticipated the sale would be to a larger company.
The movement is also fuelled by a decent supply of both sellers and buyers in the market, with large players the likes of Quilter leading the charge for buyer demand.
But just last month advisers were warned acquiring other advice firms was not a strategy for replacing organic growth within a business.
Chase de Vere recently launched a financial advice service exclusively for dentists in the UK, partnering with dental payment plan business Denplan to offer advice to its 6,500 member dentists, with a particular focus on NHS pensions.
This followed a deal with the Royal College of Surgeons to provide financial advice to its members, provided by Chase De Vere Medical, a subsidiary of the advice firm which was established in July 2018 to target medical professionals.