Fairstone adds £461m as it hunts for more acquisitions

Financial planning firm promotes its buyout programmes ahead of H1 plans

Fairstone is on the hunt for a number of acquisitions in the first half of 2019 as it takes on five extra firms over the last few months and two individual advisers.

Hamlyn Financial Services, Findlay & Company Financial Services and Andrew Cohen Associates have joined the financial planning firm’s “downstream buyout” programme over the last few months and are due to add £365m to assets under management, the firm said in a press release outlining its growth plans.

The three advice firms are in the process of integrating into Fairstone’s structure ahead of full acquisition. They follow in the footsteps of Darlington-based Belasis IFA, alongside Allensons in Wokingham, which recently added £50m funds under management as the acquisition process completed.

London-based Paul Miller and Surrey-based Andy Smith together bring an additional 222 clients and £46m AUM into the group via Fairstone’s individual buy out programme. Miller said the buyout provided him an exit strategy that de-risks the business while protecting the interests of clients.

Fairstone said in its press release that it expected to make “a number of further acquisitions within the first half of this year”.

Chief executive Lee Hartley (pictured) said Fairstone aids it target businesses through regulatory, technical and operational support.

Hartley added: “Revenue and Ebitda performance has been substantially ahead of the prior year in each channel and importantly this is being delivered without any cross-subsidisation between our financial planning and investment management businesses.”

Fairstone revealed at its annual conference in Newcastle this week that its client numbers have increased 25% on the previous year to 51,000. Its current funds under advice are £8.1bn.

Hartley also revealed Fairstone has landed an additional line of funding from HSBC and Lloyds to aid its buyout programme with an initial £30m provided via the joint facility structure. “The initial commitment into the acquisition facility alone takes the total funding we have raised for business development purposes to £70m from inception,” he said.

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