Fairstone, which incorporates one of the UK’s largest Chartered financial planning firms, has announced the acquisition of Glasgow based Chartermarque, bolstering Fairstone’s growth plan for 2021.
The announcement follows Fairstone being named the most acquisitive wealth management firm in the UK for 2020 and the second most acquisitive firm overall in the country in the ICAEW Corporate Financier annual review. Fairstone has made a strong start to 2021, with the Chartermarque purchase in the wake of the acquisition of Hammet and Petch.
This acquisition by the full-service wealth management house, further highlights the strength of Fairstone’s unique proprietary Downstream Buy Out (DBO) acquisition model which integrates ambitious IFA firms into the group, typically over a two-year period, 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.
Based in Glasgow, Chartermarque is a whole-of-market advice firm specialising in advice and management of investment and retirement portfolios.
The acquisition brings an additional 200 clients into the group together with Chartermarque’s four advisers and four support staff. The acquisition also secures gross fee income of £1m for Fairstone together with funds under management of £200 million.
Commenting on the deal, Lee Hartley, CEO of Fairstone, said: “We are delighted to complete the final acquisition of Chartermarque which is a genuinely high-quality business with a proven leader in Scott Morton.
“We have worked closely with the team at Chartermarque throughout the integration phase and they share our core values of putting clients at the heart of everything we do, making them an excellent fit for Fairstone.
“Within Fairstone, we work hard to ensure our proposition gives firms the framework they need to significantly grow their businesses, without compromising on client service or independence. Finalising this deal with Chartermarque signifies a valued addition to our group.”
Chartermarque principal Scott Morton said that one of the main reasons they chose to join Fairstone was the firm’s strong financial position and commitment to support continued growth.
Scott Morton added: “Continuing to meet our clients’ needs in a rapidly changing environment has been at the forefront of our decision to become part of Fairstone.
“The desire to continue to provide independent advice was particularly important and Fairstone’s financial strength allows further investment in people and infrastructure – all for the ultimate benefit of our valued clients.
“Fairstone provide the financial strength and stability that a smaller firm like ours will benefit from together with providing the technology that is vital in today’s marketplace.”
Lee Hartley added: “I am delighted that Fairstone has been recognised as the leading wealth management acquirer in Corporate Financier’s review for 2020. Hopefully, this is a clear reflection of our robust and sustained growth strategy. I can say with confidence that Fairstone remains in a superb position to deliver more growth throughout this year and far beyond.
“Our approach is the exact opposite of the traditional ‘consolidator’ model and our underlying numbers – from client satisfaction and client retention through to earn-out performance – fully back this up.”
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