The deal, announced today (March 6), sees MWA provided with access to a pool of transitional debt capital by ThinCats - a lender which cropped up after the financial crisis to help small businesses.
The initial funding commitment is £8.5mn, with longer-term commitment of £15mn, and beyond, as the business grows.
MWA manages some £400mn in assets, and with ThinCats’ help it intends to grow that to £1bn over the next 12 to 18 months.
Ed Rosengarten, who joined MWA in 2021 as its executive chair, told FTAdviser the deal allows him and Cam Banks - the firm’s other owner - to hang onto all their equity.
Before joining MWA, Rosengarten headed up funds at Smith & Williamson.
He also spent 20 years of his career at M&G, latterly overseeing its equity business.
“The owner-managed element is really important to us,” said Rosengarten. “I love having skin in the game, and vendors love that too.”
Rosengarten and Banks wanted to avoid the private equity route, which sees a firm’s owners sell some of the equity to a private investor.
MWA is the first IFA group to sign up to ThinCats’ funding facility.
The lender said the product suited any firm looking to grow via acquisitions with an exit plan over five years.
Though the product is able to be rolled on, meaning an exit plan is not essential after five years. “We’re not thinking short-term,” Rosengarten told FTAdviser.
MWA has at least two “very alive deals close to competing”, according to the firm’s executive chair. These will see the firm break the £500mn assets under management mark.
Prior to ThinCats, MWA acquired Hampshire-based Prosperity - its biggest deal to date.
It has also bought Hertfordshire-based Eversley Wealth Management and Essex-based CHC Wealth Management.
At the end of 2022, the firm decided it was the time to accelerate its growth. The funding facility was completed at the end of February.
“Timing is everything,” said Rosengarten. “Our search for funding neatly coincided with the availability of this facility.”