The acquisition by the full-service wealth management house, further highlights the strength of Fairstone’s unique proprietary Downstream Buy Out (DBO) acquisition 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, therefore crystallising a higher overall valuation in the future.
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 value.
Based in Leicestershire, Sterling Asset Management is a whole-of-market advice firm specialising in advice and management of investment and retirement portfolios. The firm has four directors, Simon Knighton, Mark Houldey, Andrew Rastrick and David Hindle.
The acquisition brings an additional 1,000 clients into the group together with Sterling’s four advisers and three 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 Sterling Asset Management which signifies another valued addition to Fairstone.
“Sterling share our core values of putting clients at the heart of everything we do, making them an excellent fit and we have worked closely with the team throughout the integration phase.
“Within Fairstone, we invest in forward thinking firms to optimise their capital value, providing the framework they need to significantly grow their business, without compromising on client service or independence. We are delighted to have Sterling on board.”
Sterling Asset Management director Simon Knighton said that one of the main reasons they chose to join Fairstone was the opportunity to work closely with an acquirer before committing to any merger and the knowledge that they were working with like-minded people.
Simon Knighton added: “Our relationship with Fairstone means we can take full advantage of the support offered, leaving us with more time available to spend with our clients by utilising their economies of scale and expertise.
“We are delighted to be working with Fairstone who have been good to their word throughout the merger process and remain as focussed on quality outcomes for our clients as we are.
“The merge with Fairstone is part of our long-term commitment to clients and we are very excited about the future.”
Lee Hartley added: “Fairstone support sector leaders in developing their businesses and I can say with confidence that we remain in a superb position to deliver more growth throughout this year and far beyond.
“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.”
Headquartered in Newcastle with 42 locations across the UK, Fairstone is the number one ranked wealth management firm on Trustpilot and oversees £11 Billion FUM for over 34,000 wealth clients.
Would you like to know more about joining Fairstone? Speak to one of our experienced M&A team today.