Mergers and acquisitions  

Adviser bags £65m Aum in 11th acquisition

Adviser bags £65m Aum in 11th acquisition
 Credit: Bloomberg

Chartered financial planner Astute Private Wealth has acquired Knutsford-based Optimas Financial Planners in its 11th deal in the past decade.

Astute announced today (September 1) it has bought the client assets of Optimas for an undisclosed figure, bringing £65m of assets under direction to the Chester and Liverpool-based advice firm.

It is the firm’s 11th acquisition since it launched in 2010.

Co-directors of Optimas, Alan McLaughlin and Cathryn Jones, said they were “thrilled” with the opportunity. Mr McLaughlin will now retire, while Ms Jones has joined Astute and will continue to build her client relationships at the firm.

Ms Jones said: “Alan and I are really happy to have found a partner who values client service, outcomes and relationship as much as we do.

“Alan is comfortable his clients will be well looked after here, and I’m excited to start a new chapter of my career with Astute.”

Gary Lee, director of Astute Private Wealth and Astute Investment Management, said the purchase made “strategic sense” for the firms as their cultures were “well-aligned”.

He added: “We’re delighted to bring Cathryn into the team, giving clients continuity alongside access to our in-house experts.”

Astute Private Wealth recently rebranded, having previously been known as WTK Financial Services.

Mergers and acquisition activity in the adviser industry, and broader UK wealth management, has increased over the past few years, primarily driven by regulation, an ageing demographic and increasing professional indemnity insurance costs.

Recent data shows funds spent on larger mergers and acquisitions in the IFA market jumped by more than 100 per cent last year to £249m, and the pattern of consolidation has shown no sign of abating. 

imogen.tew@ft.com

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