Rick Hollington

"Since being acquired by Fairstone, we have seen an 38% increase in client numbers and our turnover and FUM has increased significantly, while we have also reduced overhead costs."

Business highlights post transaction
Clients numbers ↑ 38%
Fee income ↑18%
Profitability Increased

 

Fairstone acquired Burscough-based Octagon two years ago. Here, business principal, Rick Hollington, talks about the acquisition process and life after the sale.

 

“Before joining Fairstone, the regulatory requirements and burden on the company directors and advisers was becoming so much that it was clear that eventually this would hamper our ability to continue to provide the time to client servicing that we had promised,” said Rick.

“The Fairstone proposition really appealed to us as it puts client outcomes and a focus on integration at its core.

“At no point is there a requirement to change the fundamentals of what the business did before. Instead we were able to take full advantage of the support offered and the backing of Fairstone’s robust compliance framework, leaving us with more time to spend with our clients, who are the ultimate focus of our business.”

Integration

Rick 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 almost three years later.

“Fairstone’s DBO programme deals with integration before acquisition which meant that we could deal with all the changes in compliance structure and other processes within the firm during this time,” added Rick.

“As a result, we were fully integrated at the point of acquisition and there was no need to change anything, making it a seamless, worry-free process.”

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.

 

Stability and Security

Rick said: “One of the biggest positives post acquisition is being able to focus all of our attention on client service levels instead of the regulatory requirements of running a directly authorised firm. “This also provides us with the confidence that the systems and checks are in place to ensure we are constantly ahead of the compliance curve.

“It’s great being part of a bigger team as it provides stability and security for both ourselves as business principals and also more importantly, for our clients, which has been particularly valuable during these difficult times.

“We know that if there is anything we need access to or help with, it is only a phone call away.”

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.

Growth

Rick said: “Since being acquired by Fairstone, we have seen a 38% increase in client numbers and our turnover and FUM has increased significantly, while we have also reduced overhead costs.

“The whole process could not have gone any smoother for the team or our clients and we are now proud to be part of the Fairstone Family. We genuinely feel there is real strength in every part of the business as we all continue to grow together.”

 

Speak to our M&A Team to learn more about our unique DBO or IBO opportunities.

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