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7IM buys £2bn London IFA

7IM buys £2bn London IFA

Seven Investment Management has entered the advice space by buying Partners Wealth Management in a move which will bring £2bn of assets under management to the firm.

It announced today (October 1) it had acquired the London-based financial planning business as part of its “long-term strategy of continued growth”.

Primarily an asset manager, discretionary fund manager and platform service, the move expands 7IM’s advice capabilities from a handful of financial planners, whom it acquired as part of a previous takeover, to a £2bn asset-strong established offering.

It comes after FTAdviser revealed last November that 7IM was mulling an expansion of its advice service as it looked for growth across all parts of its business.

As part of the deal, PWM, headed up by David Stoll and James Roberts, will continue to operate as an independent company from 7IM, retaining its brand, identity and leadership. 

However, there will be some integration of back-office functions, with PWM able to use 7IM’s technological capabilities. There are no immediate planned redundancies.

Dean Proctor, chief executive of 7IM, told FTAdviser the firm had “no intention” of being a market consolidator in the financial planning space and instead saw the move as one which brought the benefits of a “business with options” and “diversification” within 7IM.

He said: “It’s probably more of a one off, but never say never with this sort of thing. We are aspiring to grow our AUM overall so we can continue to serve our customer base.

“[The advice market] is an industry with growth rates that other sectors would want for. 

“There are undoubtedly challenges with increased regulatory oversight and costs [...] but it is a great opportunity to be part of a growth sector and advice will only increase in its importance in the eyes of the clients over time.”

The deal creates a group with a combined AUM of approximately £17bn, employing over 400 people and providing a range of investment and financial planning services.

Advisers at PWM will stay whole-of-market and independent, and there will be no incentive for them to use 7IM products.

Mr Proctor said he was “not specifically” looking at further acquisitions in the platform or fund management space either, but said he was “open-minded”.

He added: “We are backed by Caledonia Private Capital, who are supportive of this acquisition, and I wouldn’t be doing my job properly in terms of considering the long-term strategy [if I] didn’t have a sense of what opportunities existed.

“But we have huge ambitions to grow organically.”

Mr Roberts, managing partner at PWM, said: “Following a successful 16 years, we felt the time was right to seek a partner who could help us continue advancing our vision to build the best client and adviser proposition in the UK. 

“Over the past year we have had discussions with a number of potential partners, but were attracted to 7IM because of its award winning technology, entrepreneurial culture, strong management team and shared values.