Mergers and acquisitions  

Fairstone adds £150m with NI adviser purchase

Fairstone adds £150m with NI adviser purchase
Lee Hartley, chief executive officer of Fairstone

Fairstone has bought Northern Ireland-based Fairstone NI, adding funds under management in excess of £150m.

Fairstone NI, based in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, is a chartered whole-of-market advice firm specialising in advice and management of investment and retirement portfolios. 

The firm joined Fairstone's downstream buyout model in 2015 seeking a longer than typical integration period to allow it to grow its business. 

Since then, the firm’s revenues have tripled while client numbers have doubled, Fairstone said. 

The deal brings almost 2,000 clients to the group, as well as 12 advisers and six support staff.

Fairstone NI principals Sean Larkin and Peter Savage said they decided to partner with Fairstone due to similarities between the firms' cultures. 

Larkin said: “Our partnership together has been a huge success with our business growing considerably. We are now very proud to have been fully acquired by Fairstone and are confident that this will further strengthen our client proposition as well as providing opportunities for our staff to grow and develop further within the business.”

Savage added the firm was looking for a partner that would provide a platform to grow its business.

“They have the same beliefs and attitude to us about putting clients first. We were able to leverage their technology and presence to build our company during the integration. It was the best decision for our clients, our business and one I will never regret.”

The acquisition by the group is the eighth so far in 2021 and boosts Fairstone’s footprint in Northern Ireland. 

Fairstone said its approach was to attract businesses that do not want to sell today, instead targeting well-managed firms that want to grow and develop, therefore crystallising a higher overall valuation in the future.

Lee Hartley, chief executive officer of Fairstone, said: “We are delighted to complete the final acquisition of Fairstone NI, which is a first-rate business with proven leaders in Sean and Peter. We have worked closely with the dynamic team throughout the integration phase to provide the support and framework to grow the business and they have really become a big part of the Fairstone family.

“Our experience shows that culturally aligned forward thinking firms are the most profitable and successful in the long-term. Peter, Sean and the team place clients at their core and their commitment to first-class service makes them an excellent fit for us.”

In January this year Fairstone finalised the purchase of Hammett and Petch Financial Planning which secured more than £60m in assets for the national wealth manager in its first deal of the year. 

Following this, in March, the wealth manager acquired Glasgow-based Chartermarque.

In July, Fairstone bought West Yorkshire-based Utopia Financial Planning, adding funds under management in excess of £100m and 800 clients to the group. 

The same month, Fairstone also acquired Belfast-based ASM Financial Planning, securing funds under management in excess of £250m.