Acquisition of East Devon Associates marks 50 acquired firms and 10 years M&A


18 February 2022



Business people shake hands, left hand corner text reads: Acquisition

Fairstone, one of the UK’s fastest growing wealth management businesses, is celebrating three major milestones – securing its 50th acquisition of East Devon Associates, notching up 10 years of M&A activity and hitting £100m of revenues.

These achievements are bold landmarks for the company which incorporates one of the UK’s largest Chartered financial planning firms and is independently ranked the number one wealth management house on Trustpilot.


Decade of dealmaking

Marking a decade of dealmaking, CEO Lee Hartley today said Fairstone would further boost the momentum achieved to date through organic growth, complemented by more strategic acquisitions and reinforced by a strong pipeline of business opportunities.

Hartley said: “We’ve now reached three very significant milestones which reflect our substantial growth in very clear fashion. These are real indicators of maturity and are also important markers in our mission to establish ourselves as the leader in the whole-of-market wealth advisory space.

“Our first acquisition 10 years ago laid the foundations for our exceptional London business that has evolved from those origins. Thanks to the success of our unique Downstream Buy Out (DBO) acquisition programme, we now enjoy a truly national footprint, delivering first-class service to clients countrywide.

“Building on this position, our plan is to accelerate the group’s growth through continued focus on our proven proposition and targeting some select new geographies. We really do want to put clear blue water between ourselves and some of our peers.”


Fairstone approach

Formed in Newcastle, Fairstone has retained its headquarters in the North East and developed into a UK-wide operation with 42 locations, 400 regulated advisers and 410 operational staff. The business now oversees £13 Billion in funds under management for 40,000 wealth clients.

The group’s growth strategy was further reinforced as a result of a market-leading transaction with global private equity house TA Associates last year. The major investment formed the central aspect of a multiple financing boost for the firm, with private equity backers Synova also reinvesting into the group and funders Alcentra, the European arm of BNY Mellon, increasing the scale of the acquisition facilities available.

Hartley added: “The combined expertise and backing of TA Associates, Synova and Alcentra provides us with the capacity to expand our acquisition activity with the benefit of an exceptionally deep and wide capital base. This underpins our growth trajectory, and we are looking to bring more ambitious firms into the group over the course of the next 10 years and beyond.”


Acquisition of East Devon Associates

News of the treble milestone comes as Fairstone announces the acquisition of Sidmouth-based East Devon Associates, the third acquisition announced so far in 2022, adding a combined total of £350million of client assets to the group.

Founded in 2004, East Devon Associates bring five staff and 500 clients into the group and increase the firm’s footprint in the South West. The firm partnered with Fairstone through its DBO proposition in 2019, and during their integration phase have seen an impressive 17% increase in revenue.

Company principal Graham Salter said: “Working with Fairstone over the past two years has reassured us that we have made the right choice for ourselves, our staff and most importantly for our clients.”

Hartley added: “Watching the Fairstone family flourish is an immense source of pride to me, and I am grateful to everyone who has been part of that journey. It’s fitting that we’re able to celebrate our significant business highlights today while welcoming a quality firm such as East Devon Associates.

“Graham, Martin and the team will become long-term colleagues, joining us on the next stage of our journey, as we continue to invest in growth, bringing in like-minded businesses who share our vision and commitment to excellence in the sector.”


Interested in becoming part of the Fairstone family?

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