Fairstone celebrates a record 12 months of deal making

Company News

27 February 2024



Fairstone M&A Team

Fairstone’s M&A team is celebrating a record 12 months of dealmaking, with 16 firms joining its unique Downstream Buy Out (DBO) programme across the UK and Ireland and a further 6 full acquisitions.

Fairstone’s DBO programme provides ambitious IFA firms who have no desire to sell in the immediate future, the ability to release capital on day one and then work towards a full sale at a future date of their choosing. Fairstone provides access to investment, resource, and new clients during the partnership period to ensure that each business reaches its optimal value at the date of full acquisition.

Fairstone’s transaction pipeline looks even stronger in 2024, with a significant number of mature discussions with high quality firms in the UK and Ireland, where the proposition has only recently launched, already well advanced.

The M&A team, which is led by Chief Development Officer Steve McNicol, was strengthened during the year. Leading on deal origination and relationship management are newly promoted Business Growth Director, Gavin Green and Senior M&A Partner, Mark Donnelly. Both have been with Fairstone since its inception in 2008 and, together with Jack Cronin (M&A Partner), are responsible for further accelerating growth through the Downstream Buyout Programme within the group. Whilst Corporate Finance Director, Graham Cornforth, and Head of Financial Due Diligence, Peter Wright, who built his career at PWC, manage transactions and deal flow.

There was also further expansion of the team of Business Analysts who are tasked with conducting a research and outreach programme that spans the sector, thereby identifying suitable new partner firms, as well as additional investment into the M&A Onboarding Team, increasing Fairstone’s ability to run multiple deals concurrently.

Lee Hartley, Chief Executive at Fairstone said:

“Interest in our Downstream Buy Out offering remains strong and our systematic approach to identifying growth-focussed future acquisition opportunities means that we have a much larger target audience than any traditional consolidator. Added to this, 2024 is showing signs of being our busiest and most successful year to date.”
Steve McNicol, Chief Development Officer at Fairstone said : “Every single one of the firms that we have acquired is achieving their target sale value and receiving pay-outs that far exceed their original aspirations. On average the firms that have joined Fairstone under the Downstream Buy Out (DBO) strategy have banked 113% of their initial sale value, some a great deal more, and most importantly, none have received less than 100%. Many of the selling principals, who are not ready retire, go on to create further capital value for themselves.

“These results are unprecedented anywhere in the wealth advisory space and are a direct result of our unique approach – investing in growth ahead of an ultimate acquisition and then delivering a second capital event to reward continued post-sale success.

“The strength of our M&A team is crucial to Fairstone’s accelerated growth and I am delighted with the enhancements we have made to our dealmaking operation.
“Bolstering the team and expanding the proposition will ensure that we continue to be the most proven acquirer in the sector, and I am really looking forward to seeing what the team can achieve in 2024.”


Interested in becoming part of the Fairstone family?

To find out more about how our unique acquisition model could work for you and your organisation, speak to a member of our M&A team today.

Learn more Contact our M&A team

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