Wren Sterling  

Wren Sterling adds £675mn AUM with adviser purchase

Wren Sterling adds £675mn AUM with adviser purchase
Ian Darby, Wren Sterling’s executive chairperson

Wren Sterling Group has bought Manchester-based advice firm Mutual Financial Management, including discretionary fund manager MDFM, for an undisclosed amount.

Mutual Financial Management has 1,100 clients and manages £675mn on their behalf. 

The firm's 29 employees and partners will become part of Wren Sterling, with Mutual’s managing partner Austin Hutchinson continuing to run the business.

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Mutual will also be rebranded to Wren Sterling and, once the deal is complete, Wren Sterling will have 240 staff and nearly 100 advisers. 

Welcoming Austin and his team, Wren Sterling's executive chairperson Ian Darby said: “Acquiring a business of this calibre and scale is truly game-changing for us and shows the business’ renewed ambition following Lightyear’s investment. 

“What truly sets Mutual apart is its people, who are highly entrepreneurial and innovation-led and share our commitment to the very highest levels of client service.  

“Furthermore, the addition of a DFM capability gives us the option to enhance our offering for certain clients who might benefit from it, while remaining fiercely protective of our role as independent financial planners.”

Today’s deal (June 8) pushes the total AUM acquired by Wren Sterling in the past three years over the £1bn mark and takes its own total AUM to more than £5.4bn.

This is Wren Sterling’s largest deal to date and its first since its secondary management buyout by US private equity firm Lightyear Capital in 2021.

According to Darby, the acquisition is part of Wren Sterling’s strategy to buy businesses in “key strategic locations”, as it looks to accelerate its growth.

As previously reported by FTAdviser, the business has a particular focus on acquiring new hubs in London, the South West, the Midlands and Edinburgh. 

Mutual’s Hutchinson said of the deal: “We received a lot of interest in the business, but Wren Sterling was the only company to whom we felt comfortable entrusting our clients and our people. 

“We really like the Wren Sterling business, its people and its growth model. These were our key considerations when choosing our long-term partner.”

Back in July 2021, Wren Sterling changed hands from one private equity owner to another as part of a management buyout of the firm.

US private equity firm Lightyear Capital took a majority stake, while the management team kept a minority stake, as part of a management buyout from Palatine Private Equity and shareholders.