IFA  

IFA acquires rival's client book despite virus challenges

IFA acquires rival's client book despite virus challenges

IFA firm Wealth Matters has completed its purchase of another advice firm's client base at its original valuation despite the deal coinciding with market drops due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

In its fifth deal to date the Luton-based adviser has acquired the pension and investment clients of Poptani Financial Solutions.

The deal was already in progress when the coronavirus pandemic hit but new terms were agreed to "de-risk the deal" and enabled both parties to proceed at the initial valuation.

As part of the agreement Jim Poptani, owner of Poptani Financial Solutions, will continue to offer protection advice to clients but the main service will be handed to Wealth Matters as part of his retirement plan centred around his hobby as an amateur magician. 

Mr Poptani said: "Finding the right buyer for my business was so important – it’s not just about the financials.

"The key to the right deal is knowing my clients will be well looked after, and I am confident Wealth Matters will exceed mine and my clients' expectations."

The deal was brokered by Gunner & Co and its senior broker Joshua Lee said the acquisition was the third deal completed by the introducer during lockdown.  

Mr Lee added: "This deal is further proof of the flexibility of deal making in the current market.

"Both parties have been very innovative to keep this deal’s momentum. As brokers we are still seeing considerable activity in the market, with average offer prices matching 2019."

Julian Gilbert, director at Wealth Matters, said: "We’re an ambitious business and Poptani was a good match for us in terms of geography, clients and service offering - we’re grateful to the team at Gunner & Co for their management of the deal, especially in these challenging circumstances."

Whilst some advisers have paused their acquisition trials during the coronavirus lockdown, a number of deals have proceeded in a business as usual fashion. 

Last week new-entrant consolidator Independent Wealth Planners completed its ninth acquisition in a deal which would bring £250m in assets under management and eight advisers to the business. 

In April David Inglesfield, chief executive of IWP,  told FTAdviser the company, which is majority-owned and controlled by its own management team, was eyeing a pipeline of 20 deals and remained undeterred by the pandemic-fuelled market downturn. 

On Monday Ascot Lloyd announced it had acquired six adviser firms despite the lockdown, in deals which collectively added £1.2bn in funds under management to the consolidator. 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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