David Halsall

"Since partnering with Fairstone, we have been able to focus on providing advice as opposed to running a business and we have seen a 42% growth in assets and a 45% increase in income."

Business highlights post transaction
FUM ↑42%
Fee income ↑45%
Profitability Increased

 

Over two years ago, Fairstone acquired West Lancashire-based Pensions and Wealth Management. Here, business principal, David Halsall, talks about the acquisition process and life after the sale.

“Joining Fairstone has allowed us to concentrate on working with our long-standing clients, safe in the knowledge that we are part of a company which has clients as its main focus.

“After considerable due diligence, it was clear that Fairstone was the standout offering. We wanted to work with a Chartered business that believes in independence and whole-of-market choice.

“We felt that the Fairstone proposition was quite unique in its construct and provides an outstanding support framework which takes care of all the business quality and regulatory requirements. Ultimately this provides us with the platform to build from over the coming years.”

David explained that the company which specialises in investments, retirement and estate planning, first joined Fairstone’s Downstream Buy Out (DBO) programme in 2016 and was fully acquired by Fairstone just over two years later.

David said: “We first looked at joining Fairstone as we wanted to be part of a larger group and not have individual PII renewals each year.

Robust

“Having the backing of Fairstone’s robust compliance framework and IT support also allowed us to continue to offer a long-term advice and investment management proposition for our clients.

“I love the firm’s management style and approach to acquiring firms, with an emphasis on clients and delivering quality advice, rather than fees. “Joining Fairstone also enabled us to facilitate the retirement of one adviser and realise capital for existing shareholders.”

Fairstone, which incorporates one of the UK’s largest Chartered financial planning firms, integrates high quality financial advisory firms through its unique DBO model, which has led to the incorporation of 54 firms since 2011.

David added: “Passing over all the liabilities and obligations of a directly authorised firm to Fairstone has certainly been a relief and has allowed all advisers to concentrate on providing advice to clients.

Growth

“Probably the biggest challenge we have faced is changing systems and processes to Fairstone arrangements. It entailed a lot of work in the first 15 months but, once completed, our systems are much more efficient than previously.

“It’s very satisfying to be part of a bigger team and helpful to get support when required. One of the biggest positives we have seen post acquisition is being able to rely on efficient compliance processes and a system in place to ensure appropriate advice is always delivered on time.”

Today, Fairstone is a national firm with 42 locations, made up of 380 regulated advisers and 275 operational staff. Fairstone oversee more than £10.6 billion in funds under management on behalf of 34,000 wealth management clients.

Countrywide, Fairstone is seeing an 11% out performance across its entire portfolio of acquired businesses, which means the firms it is acquiring are delivering more revenue, profits and growth than either their forecasts or buy out agreements are based on.

The Future

David added: “We provided advice for 10 years during a time of great change and financial upheaval. Regulation and demands on advisers increased significantly during this time but our integration into Fairstone now means we are well set to continue providing first-class advice to our clients for the future.”

DBO