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South African advice firm's UK plans 'gathering pace'

South African advice firm's UK plans 'gathering pace'

South African advice firm Alpha Wealth's plans to expand into the UK have been "gathering pace" since the company bought a London-based firm a little over a year ago.

Alpha Wealth bought Wimbledon-based Holborn Financial in September 2021 for an undisclosed sum to establish its presence in the UK - including through acquisition.

Emyr Blease, who founded Holborn in 1988 and remains its managing director, is working with Alpha Wealth on growing the firm in the UK.

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He said: "We have four firms at an advanced stage of due diligence. Two firms we hope to exchange contracts within this month with completion subject to FCA approval of change of control. The other two firms will hopefully complete in February.

"There are a further four firms with whom we are at an advanced stage of discussion and hope to agree terms this month.

"We have found that our acquisition plans are gathering pace as sellers become more aware of our offering and are attracted by our ability to provide their clients with a continuity of service."

Holborn also plans to apply for discretionary permissions, with a submission to the FCA planned in the "next few weeks".

Blease said that to support its growth plans, the firm was also hiring people into its adviser academy.

These included former job coach Laurette Ikondo, who already has a first-class honours degree in finance and accounting, and former professional golfer Lauren Blease, who is also Blease's daughter.

Last year former professional cricket player Craig Meschede joined the academy.

damian.fantato@ft.com