Connectus enters UK market through IFA acquisition

Connectus Wealth Advisers, the new M&A arm of Focus Financial Partners, has acquired Knutsford-based Watterson Financial Planning, marking the US giant’s entrance into the UK market.

Focus Financial Partners, the San Francisco- based financial backer that specialises in investing in independent wealth management firms, has $200bn of assets under management, and was valued at $2bn in a 2018 initial public offering. The IPO was recognised as one of the first opportunities for investors to become shareholders in the independent financial advice market. 

Connectus also purchased three Australian firms in December, soon after its inauguration.

Watterson’s chief executive, Craig Watterson, has said he is confident that the IFA will maintain its “boutique nature”.

Commenting, Mr Watterson said: “We are very pleased to be joining Connectus.

“The partnership will enable us to maintain our highly personalised client service model while providing access to the resources and expertise necessary to enhance our existing client experience and ensure continuity for both our clients and employees.

“Connectus will provide the reach and scale of a global partnership without compromising the boutique nature of our firm.”

Rajini Kodialam, Focus chief operating officer and co-founder, said: “We are thrilled that the Watterson Financial Planning team will be joining Connectus.

“Watterson Financial Planning will be Connectus’ first expansion into the UK. We could not be more excited to partner with a firm that brings the reputation and entrepreneurial spirit that is so critical to the success of independent firms.”

She adds: “Joining Connectus will enable Craig and his team to access a network of like-minded advisers, broaden their capabilities, and continue to provide the high-quality experience their clients are accustomed to.

“This transaction will build on the growth and evolution of Connectus in the US and Australian markets and highlights the value of Connectus’ model globally.”

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