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The 18 top wealth and fund deals of 2018

Read on for our selection of the biggest merger and acquisition stories of 2018

Consolidation – it's all the rage in the world of asset management, as the increasing cost of regulation bites at margins.

In addition to a strings of buys from the usual suspects, there have been a number of suprise deals – and the odd upset – this year.

Read on for our selection of the biggest 18 merger and acquisition stories of 2018.

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Consolidation – it's all the rage in the world of asset management, as the increasing cost of regulation bites at margins.

In addition to a strings of buys from the usual suspects, there have been a number of suprise deals – and the odd upset – this year.

Read on for our selection of the biggest 18 merger and acquisition stories of 2018.

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Standard Life Aberdeen sells insurance arm to Phoenix for £3bn

In a massive £3.24 billion deal in February Standard Life Aberdeen announced plans to sell its insurance business to Phoenix Group.

The deal saw Standard Life Aberdeen take a 19.99% stake in Phoenix worth around £1 billion, forming a strategic partnership between the pair. 

The firm's investment division, Aberdeen Standard Investments, took on the running of around £158 billion of Phoenix's assets under management.

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7IM buys Tcam to create £13.6bn national challenger

In a suprise move, Seven Investment Management (7IM) acquired Edinburgh-based discretionary asset manager Tcam in May.

The deal created a business with £13.6 billion in assets under management, with offices in London, Scotland and Jersey.

Tcam chief executives Alex Montgomery and Haig Bathgate (pictured) became partners in 7IM as part of the acquisition, joining its management committee.

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Insurance giant buys Gemma Godfrey’s Moola

A couple of months later, employee benefit provider JLT Employee Benefits snapped up Gemma Godfrey’s (pictured) Moola for an undisclosed sum.

The Moola team will join insurance giant Jardine Lloyd Thompson's employee benefit subsidiary.

Moola, which was launched in 2016 and attracted the backing of a number of City figures, continues to offer its investment services through its website and other channels.

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Ascot Lloyd gobbles up wealth consolidator

Ascot Lloyd announced that it had acquired Midlands based wealth consolidator Newell Palmer.

The deal is set to add over £12 million in revenues to Ascot Lloyd Group, bringing its forecast turnover for 2019 to over £50 million. The firm did not disclose how much it paid for the business.

The deal will lift Ascot Lloyd's total client funds to over £7 billion and its adviser headcount to around 100.

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Schroders and Lloyds to launch wealth advice business

Schroders and Lloyds announced  in October they would establish a new financial planning business.

Scheduled to launch by the middle of next year, the business will target affulent customers and will be 50.1% owned by Lloyds.

Lloyds will transfer approximately £13 billion of assets and associated advisers from its wealth management business and receive up to a 19.9% stake in Schroders' UK wealth management business.

 

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Franklin Templeton reaches deal to buy Edinburgh Partners

In January, Franklin Templeton agreed to purchase Scottish fund boutique Edinburgh Partners for an undisclosed sum.

The deal saw founder of the business Sandy Nairn – who worked at Franklin Templeton for the ten years to 2000, rising to director of global equity research – brought back into the fold.

Nairn founded Edinburgh Partners in 2003, and continues to serve as chief executive of the subsidiary.

 

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Rathbones seals £104m deal to buy Speirs & Jeffrey

In June, Rathbones struck a £104 million deal to buy Scotland's largest independent wealth manager, Speirs & Jeffrey. 

The deal was structured through a cash payment of £79 million and £25 million in new equity.

All of Speirs & Jeffrey's directors and investment managers joined Rathbones, with chief executive Russell Crichton becoming head of Rathbones' Scottish business.

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LGT Vestra absorbs long-time adviser partner

LGT Vestra brought a financial advice firm under its roof in January, nine years after the companies established a ‘close-knit joint venture’.

Genesis Wealth, based in Braintree and London, moved its clients and staff across to LGT Vestra, while changing its name to Cornhill Financial Services. 

Graham Thomas, who was managing director of Cornhill, was appointed as a partner and a team head of wealth planning at LGT Vestra.

According to accounts filed at Companies House for the year to 31 March 2017, Cornhill had £39.9 million of assets under its active wealth management service and fewer than 500 clients.

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US giant takes majority stake in Hermes

Federated Investors in April took a £246 million majority interest in Hermes Fund Managers from the BT Pension Scheme.

The Pittsburgh-based firm took 60% interest with BT retaining a 29.5% share. The remaining equity is held by company management.

At the time of the deal, the combined group was set to manage roughly $442.2 billion (£327.6 billion) in assets under management, with Hermes continuing to operate from London as a subsidiary with an independent board.

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Saunderson House parent scraps planned sale amid bid frenzy

In an unexpected twist, Saunderson House parent IFG in April abandoned its attempts to sell the wealth management subsidiary.

Saunderson was put on the market in February amid a profit warning at IFG sister business James Hay, with the group reporting it received a number of offers in line with market expectations. 

However, it said the offers it received were not 'wholly aligned' with the Saunderson strategy.

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Consolidator completes its biggest deal with £7.7m regional buy

AFH Financial, which made a long string of acquisitions this year, in October completed what it described as the largest deal in its 27-year history.

The purchase of Maidstone’s Core Financial Holdings for £7.7 million, was the 16th inked by the company this year and will ‘significantly’ expand the company’s regional reach.

Mark Sutton – founder and chief executive of Core, which ran £230 million and employs nine advisers –  remains with the business.

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Wealth boss makes dramatic return to sell his boutique

Former chief executive of UK wealth boutique Henderson Rowe, Charles Aram (pictured), returned to the helm of the company and sold it to an Asian funds giant in July in one of his first acts.

Rayliant Global Advisors acquired the business, which has $650 million in assets, for an undisclosed sum. 

It was agreed that Henderson will operate as an independent subsidiary of Rayliant, and retain its own name and brand. The buy marked the company's first venture into wealth management.

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Courtiers buys two boutiques as acquisition spree takes off

Wealth firm Courtiers has scooped two acquisitions in the last 12 months, expected to deliver a total £61 million in assets.

The company bought Kent-based De Brae Investment Management last year in addition to Henley-on-Thames firm Paragon Independent Financial Solutions in April.

The same month, Courtiers chief executive officer Jamie Shepperd (pictured) said the business was in discussions to acquire two other companies, potentially delivering a total of £140 million funds under management.

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Swiss private bank seals deal to buy UK wealth firm

In July, Union Bancaire Privée defied Brexit uncertainty to buy London-based wealth manager ACPI.

The business, which is based in London and Jersey has around £2 billion in assets, is run by former Goldman Sachs UK private wealth director Brett Lankester.

The acquisition came a little more than three years after UBP bought Coutts' international business from RBS.

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Sanlam swoops on East Yorkshire financial planner

Sanlam UK acquired financial planning firm Grennan Advisers for an undisclosed amount in February, adding £60 million in assets. 

Grennan Advisers is based in east Yorkshire and was launched in 2013 by principals Stuart Grennan and Helen Chapman.

It followed the acquisition of Cheltenham-based Tavistock Financial by Sanlam last year.

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Invesco buys adviser tech firm Intelliflo

in June, Invesco bought IFA technology firm Intelliflo from Hg for an undisclosed sum.

Hg, best known for running the Hg Capital investment trust, bought into Intelliflo back in 2013 through its Mercury 1 fund.

The sale valued its investment in Intelliflo at £16.8 million, which represented an uplift of £6.7 million or 66% on its original purchase.

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Quilter adds to regions with three IFA buys

National advice firm Quilter Private Client Advisers announced a trio of advice acquisitions in November, taking its total firms bought this year to 11.

Cheltenham-based Eastgate Financial Management, Surrey-based Holdaway Johnson and Blackburn-based Clive C Aitkenhead Financial Consultant all joined the vertically integrated behemoth.

David Irving, Clive Aitkenhead and Charles Holdaway, the owners of the three firms, were set to retire following the migration of their businesses.

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Old Mutual Wealth acquires £200m Scottish IFA

The then Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Advisers had earlier acquired Scottish independent financial adviser DG Pryde in May, adding £200 million in assets under management.

DG Pryde is based in Duns, outside Edinburgh, but the majority of its clients located in London and the South East.

Having founded the firm in 2005, director Douglas Pryde wished to wind down.

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