Atomos lines up £1.4bn asset grab with 8 adviser deals

Atomos lines up £1.4bn asset grab with 8 adviser deals

Atomos, the newly branded Sanlam Wealth arm which was bought by private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management last year, has lined up eight adviser deals which are expected to add £1.4bn in assets under management.

In a breakfast briefing today (October 4), the firm’s chief commercial officer Christopher Kraft shared some details on the deals, which are in the final negotiation stage.

Together, the eight deals will bring in a total of 32 advisers. Atomos currently employs 69 financial planners, meaning if all these deals close its adviser count will nearly double.

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The assets under management spread ranges from £322mn held by a London and Thames Valley-based advice firm, to £42mn held by an advice firm focused on the medical profession.

None of the firm names were disclosed in the briefing, but details on the types of firms were.

The deals also include a £300mn AUM retiring adviser base, a Manchester and Cheshire-based business with £295mn of assets, a £106mn female adviser practice which has its eye on expanding nationally, and a £190mn succession planning firm in the West Country.

The remaining two firms are a £47mn AUM retiring adviser and a £87mn one-person firm looking to grow the business and then retire.

Kraft said Atomos wants to get back to the scenario where advisers are knocking on its door again, allowing it to move away from the term ‘acquisition’ and more towards the term ‘recruitment’.

“We’ve got a clear mandate to continue this [M&A] strategy over the next couple of years,” Kraft added.

The firm is also working on an internal academy programme. Kraft mentioned this against the backdrop of a supply shortage in advisers to fill the gap created by those retiring.

Last year, then-named Sanlam Wealth decided to wind down its adviser network saying it no longer fit with its business model.

The wind down followed a flurry of departures from its adviser business, after it hit them with a change to its fee model which saw appointed representatives charged a minimum of £20,000 regardless of their size.

Atomos’ head of wealth planning, Elliott Silk, confirmed to FTAdviser back in July that the business did look at selling its adviser network. But it quickly realised all buyers would be purchasing was advisers’ month’s notice.

The network was officially shut in June, 10 months after the wind down announcement.

The firm is also in the process of launching a new platform. Currently, the Sanlam Portal and Platform sit with Chesnara, along with £7bn of assets, following the split sale of Sanlam’s pension and insurance business for £39mn.

Atomos confirmed to FTAdviser it is in discussions with a number of customised platform providers, such as Fundment and Seccl.