Mergers and acquisitions  

Kingswood buys Kent-based advice firm

Kingswood buys Kent-based advice firm

Kingswood has bought a financial planning business based in Kent, the company's third acquisition under its new chief executive.

The consolidator has bought Smythe and Walter Limited, taking its client-facing advice team to 71 people.

Smythe and Water is run by chief executive Lee Smythe who leads a team of three looking after approximately 100 client households with around £40m in assets under management. 

Smythe said: "With an ever increasing regulatory burden, joining Kingswood enables us to gain access to the resources and support, which we need to both provide a wider range of services to our current clients and to grow our future business in a cost effective manner. In addition to this, given the events of the last 18 months or so, becoming part of a larger firm ensures a greater sense of security for both staff and clients alike.

“With the additional support functions in place, I am looking forward to being able to spend more time on the most important and enjoyable part of our business, looking after our clients.''

The deal, which is subject to completion, will see Kingswood's funds under advice/management increase to £4.7bn from around 9,300 active clients.  

David Lawrence, chief executive of Kingswood, said: "Smythe and Walter are a growing firm and this acquisition enhances our existing footprint in the south east. I am delighted to welcome Lee Smythe and his team to Kingswood. 

“This is our third acquisition of 2021 and we continue to have a strong pipeline of high-quality UK opportunities under negotiation, five of which are in the exclusive due diligence stage.”

Following completion, £420,000 will be paid immediately and up to £420,000 will be payable on a deferred basis over the following two years, subject to the achievement of pre-agreed performance targets.

This acquisition is the third for Kingswood since Lawrence joined in December 2020.

On Monday, the company bought north east based IFA Money Matters

In March Lawrence told FTAdviser  “finding value for money” with acquisitions was a priority. He added: “We want to be able to achieve a 20 per cent return on investment over the medium term from the investments we make. We can be quite flexible in our buyout models.”

The firm bought North Lincolnshire-based Admiral Wealth Management for close to £4m in June this year.

In July the firm’s chairman, Kenneth “Buzz” West, and chief financial officer, Patrick Goulding, left the company.

sonia.rach@ft.com

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