Published by FT Adviser, 4th September 2020
A newly integrated wealth manager has landed a £10m acquisitions warchest as it targets smaller financial advisers and fund management businesses as part of its UK growth plans.
Bowmore Wealth Group, which launched in June through the merger of advice firm Citimark Partnership and discretionary manager Bowmore Asset Management, has secured £10m in credit to search for “high calibre” firms to acquire.
The group will be targeting advisers with up to £100m assets under advice and asset managers with up to £200m funds under management.
Mark Incledon, chief executive at Bowmore Wealth, said: “We are looking for high quality, independent business to grow with us.
“We have a family business ethic at our core which we think makes our business a much more comfortable place for former independents that join us.
“We are much more sensitive to their working practices and culture. We’re only going to acquire a firm that has a good cultural fit.”
Mr Incledon pointed to a large number of small financial advisers and fund managers that were facing “rising costs and shrinking margins”, explaining that by merging with Bowmore, smaller firms would be able to reduce compliance, administrative and PI costs.
He added: “Given this pressure, a growing number of owner-manager teams at smaller firms are considering selling their business but find the idea of joining a large consolidator an unattractive prospect.
“Many consolidators just buy to build up assets under management with little regard for cultural fit.”
Before the merger, the company successfully integrated Trigon Financial Planning in 2019, adding £60m in assets under advice.
Following the integration, all client facing staff at Trigon stayed with Bowmore, with just one member of the support team leaving as part of a career change. Some 97 per cent of Trigon’s clients also made the move.
Mr Incledon added: “What we are offering independents is a very professional platform from which they operate, maintain their client relationships and have a seat at the table.”
“We pride ourselves on our bespoke, personalised offering – that is one of our key differentiators against larger firms.”
Previously, Mr Incledon told FTAdviser that the rebrand as Bowmore Wealth Group was the “culmination” of his long-term plans for the group.
Mergers and acquisition activity in the adviser industry, and broader UK wealth management, has increased over the past few years, primarily driven by regulation, an ageing demographic and increasing professional indemnity insurance costs.
Recent data shows funds spent on larger mergers and acquisitions in the IFA market jumped by more than 100 per cent last year to £249m, and the pattern of consolidation has shown no sign of abating.
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