The deal, which is the third acquisition announced this year, follows shortly after Fairstone was named as the most acquisitive wealth management firm in the UK for 2020 and the second most acquisitive firm overall in the ICAEW Corporate Financier annual review.
This latest purchase by the full-service wealth management house, further highlights the strength of Fairstone’s proprietary Downstream Buy Out (DBO) model which integrates ambitious IFA firms into the group, typically over a two-year period, prior to final acquisition. The focus of Fairstone’s approach is to attract businesses that do not want to sell today, instead targeting robust and well-managed firms that want to grow and develop, thereby optimising their capital value.
Significantly, the vast majority of companies that have successfully reached ultimate acquisition stage demonstrate continued organic growth and a higher valuation than expected at the outset of the journey, with firms commonly exceeding their original aspirational sale price.
Based in Dundee, Findlay & Company FS, is a whole-of-market advice firm specialising in advice and management of investment and retirement portfolios.
The acquisition brings an additional 1,000 clients into the group together with Findlay & Company FS’s five advisers and four support staff. The acquisition also secures funds under management in excess of £100 million.
Commenting on the deal, Lee Hartley, CEO of Fairstone, said: “We are delighted to complete the final acquisition of Findlay & Company Financial Services after working closely with Steve Race and the team since they joined our DBO programme three years ago.
“Findlay & Company FS are a great firm and share our core values of placing clients at the heart of everything we do. The manner in which integration has been handled demonstrates that they are an excellent fit for us.
“Within Fairstone, we work hard to ensure our proposition gives firms the framework they need to significantly grow their businesses, without compromising on client service or independence. Finalising this deal with Findlay brings a valued addition to our group.”
Findlay & Company Financial Services principal Steve Race said that one of the main reasons they chose to join Fairstone was the firm’s professional approach and financial strength combined with Fairstone’s client-centric ethos.
Steve Race added: “Joining Fairstone provides our clients with the comfort that we will be around for years to come to provide them with first-class, independent financial advice.
“Having listened to several propositions from buyers, Fairstone stood out from the crowd with their professional approach and their commitment to our customers and our company.”
Lee Hartley added: “Our approach is the exact opposite of the traditional ‘consolidator’ model and our underlying numbers – from client satisfaction and client retention through to earn-out performance – fully back this up. Buying businesses is easy, integrating multiple firms into one organisation that can deliver sustainable growth is far more difficult. That is exactly why we developed the DBO model and why we work with quality firms that are confident about the future.”
Headquartered in Newcastle with 42 locations across the UK, Fairstone is the number one ranked wealth management firm on Trustpilot and oversees £10.6 Billion FUM for over 34,000 wealth clients.