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Attivo to consider listing to continue growth

Attivo to consider listing to continue growth

Financial advice firm Attivo Group will consider listing in a couple of years' time as its continues to pursue growth, its chief executive has said.

Stephen Harper said the Cheltenham-based company's current business plan set out an ambition of reaching £5bn of assets - which it is on track to achieve by the end of this accounting year.

He said Attivo already had a funding facility in place which was still available to help fund the company's growth.

Harper said: "We are putting in place a plan that in two years’ time we will be ready to either list or have another big event, to be able to continue the growth, but it is all about quality and good client averages.

"Our current client average assets under agency is above £500,000 and is rising with our focus on quality acquisitions.

"At the moment we are recruiting for a CFO to get us ready for that event. It could be an event involving private equity that will take out quite a large part of my share or it would be, in somewhere between two and five years’ time, listing.

"Listing will give the company the longevity I would like to see so I like the idea."

Last year FTAdviser reported Attivo paused six deals and deferred more than £80m in acquisition funding as a result of the first coronavirus lockdown. 

But over the first six months of 2021 Attivo completed nine acquisitions which brought an additional 4,000 clients to the firm.

It also allowed the firm to open offices in Leeds, Liverpool and Portsmouth.

Harper said: "We are working on organic growth at the moment, and are recruiting a marketing manager and have appointed a new brand consultant and creative agency to review and shape our brand and positioning.

"We are right across England and Wales. We don’t have plans to go into Scotland or Ireland, it is one step too far for us at the moment."

Attivo sold its discretionary fund management arm to Quilter in 2017 and Harper said the firm wasn't currently focused on moving back into that space to seek greater vertical integration, adding the firm was "genuinely independent".

He said: "It was right we sold our DFM business when we did because we were much smaller as a business. We were able to agree a sale that worked for our clients and actually was a good deal for us and helped us capitalise the business.

"I would never say we wouldn’t have a DFM or platform but that isn’t our focus. A couple of the businesses we are looking at buying have got DFMs in them but we wouldn’t insist they move their assets to one DFM or one platform.

"When you are growing through acquisition or consolidation, no matter what you do all the businesses you buy will have assets in different places."