The acquisition of East2west Financial Services in Nairn, Scotland and Brantwood Financial Planning in Huddersfield, marks a solid start to the year for Fairstone, which incorporates one of the UK’s largest Chartered financial planning firms.
And Fairstone CEO Lee Hartley revealed that there are several more deals in the pipeline as the group look to further invest in growth and expand its acquisition strategy.
Specialising in pensions and investments, East2west Financial Services is based in the Scottish Highlands, an affluent area with long-established wealth. Principals John Bruce and Moira Ness explained they were looking for support to develop and expand the business, and their acquisition brings 1,000 clients into the group, as well as three advisers and three support staff.
Brantwood Financial Planning specialises in holistic financial planning for high-net-worth individuals and SME business owners, and their acquisition brings more than £150m FUM, and four staff into the group. Principals Paul Dickinson and Christopher Brown explained they were looking for the support of a well-known independent national business to build on the firm’s success and added that Fairstone offered a unique proposition.
Both firms partnered with Fairstone through its proprietary Downstream Buy Out (DBO) acquisition model, which integrates enterprising, forward-thinking IFA firms into the group, prior to final acquisition.
Lee Hartley, CEO of Fairstone, said: “We have a truly differentiated business model which is proving to be an attractive proposition across the sector, as it provides the framework to work in partnership with dynamic, culturally aligned businesses and support them to be the best they can be.
“From an acquisition perspective we want to enable firms to deliver long-term organic growth – removing them from risk and compliance workload, providing access to new customers, funding the acquisition of new advisers and local practices and providing centralised support. We’re really investing into growth.
“East2west Financial Services and Brantwood Financial Planning are both quality firms with first-class individuals, who share our commitment to exceptional service and vision to flourish. Over the past two years we have worked closely with the teams at both firms, supporting their progression and funding their organic growth. This has enabled both firms to maximise value before crystallising a structured sale of their businesses at a premium valuation.
“We go into 2022 in an extremely strong position and look forward to announcing further expansion within the group.”
Fairstone’s unique DBO model enables IFA firms to increase value and benefit from growth, both before and after acquisition, and on average the firms Fairstone has acquired received 111% of their total earn-out value.
East2west Financial Services principal Moira Ness said: “Fairstone’s proposition really appealed as the firm strive for excellence in the advice market and are independent, professional and committed to Chartered status. We are very proud to be part of the Fairstone family and we are excited about our future.”
Brantwood Financial Planning principal Paul Dickinson added: “After talking to a number of different organisations, we felt that Fairstone were the only company who genuinely understood the reasons that had made us a successful financial planning business and crucially, that they would not seek to impose barriers to the continuation of this success.
“The two-year integration phase has given our clients the added confidence and reassurance that they are now part of a well-known, high quality financial planning company, while still looked after by the team at Brantwood.”
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