Fairstone partner with James Ryan Thornhill under its DBO programme

Fairstone, which incorporates one of the UK’s largest Chartered financial planning firms, today announce that it has signed up new firm James Ryan Thornhill to its unique Downstream Buy Out (DBO) programme.

James Ryan Thornhill has joined Fairstone through its unique DBO acquisition programme, increasing the firm’s strategic footprint in the East Midlands and further boosting Fairstone’s growth plan for 2021.

The deal brings more than 1,000 clients, five advisers and eight support staff to the wider business as well as gross annual fee income of around £1.2 million and funds under management of over £160m.

Fairstone’s unique proprietary DBO acquisition model is built on supporting sector leaders in growing their businesses to optimise their capital value, 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.

This latest deal with James Ryan Thornhill marks the start of this phased pre-acquisition process, which will also enable both firms to fully align in terms of culture and systems, while James Ryan Thornhill will also be able to take advantage of the regulatory, technical and operational support that Fairstone provides.

James Ryan Thornhill is based in Nottingham, and the firm specialises in pension planning and investment management.

Fairstone CEO Lee Hartley said: “We are delighted to welcome James Ryan Thornhill into our Downstream Buy Out programme. The team at James Ryan Thornhill are committed to building quality long-term client relationships and their focus on quality advice and superior service is exactly what we are looking for in a business.

“Within Fairstone, we work hard to ensure our proposition gives firms the framework, funding and support they need to significantly grow their businesses, without compromising on client service or independence. We look forward to working with the team at James Ryan Thornhill through our DBO programme to transform their business into the very best version of itself that it can be.”

Fairstone is a full-service wealth management house delivering integration-led growth and its unique DBO approach ensures that companies are fully-integrated with Fairstone prior to final acquisition, ensuring a seamless transition for clients and staff.

Company principal at James Ryan Thornhill, Del-Ryan Rafter, said that the prospect of being part of a larger organisation and the potential to create further growth, were deciding factors in partnering with Fairstone.

Del-Ryan Rafter added: “We have taken the decision to join Fairstone to provide reassurance and long-term continuity for our clients. Of the various firms that we had discussions with, Fairstone stood out and the feeling of being part of the Fairstone family particularly appealed.

“Since partnering with Fairstone we are enjoying the best of both worlds; being able to provide business as usual to our clients whilst having the support of a major national Chartered IFA firm.”

Fairstone’s DBO programme continues to be a core driver of growth for the business, reversing the traditional buy and build approach, with integration playing the leading role in a firm joining the programme.

Fairstone CEO Lee Hartley added: “We are always looking for strong, high quality businesses with ambitious development plans to join Fairstone. The strength of our DBO programme is demonstrated in the fact that all the firms we have gone on to acquire have received at least 100% of their premium sale value and many achieving much more, consolidating our position as a secure, stable and proven acquirer within the sector.”

Headquartered in Newcastle, Fairstone is the number one ranked wealth management firm on Trustpilot* with over 40,000 wealth clients and operates nationally across 42 locations.


Speak to our M&A team to find out more about how our unique acquisition model could work for you.

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