Fairstone announces acquisition funding alongside strong annual results

Fairstone has announced that they have secured a further acquisition facility to supplement their existing capital commitment from their lead investor, Synova. This additional line of funding, which is a joint facility from HSBC and Lloyds, will support Fairstone’s ongoing DBO acquisition programme.
Through this DBO process, a further two businesses have recently moved to full acquisition, with Darlington-based Belasis IFA, alongside Allensons in Wokingham, bringing in a combined gross fee income of £1.2 million, FUM of £50 million and a total of 20 staff. Moving forward Fairstone expect to make a number of further acquisitions within the first half of this year.
This solid performance is bolstered by a further three businesses joining Fairstone’s DBO programme in recent months, marking another significant step forward in its growth plan for 2019:

  • Norfolk-based Hamlyn Financial Services Ltd, which specialises in pensions and investment advice and has £100m funds under management, bring total fee income of £800k and 1500 clients to the company as well as 12 staff. Commenting, Stephen Grass, company principal at Hamlyn Financial Services said: “This was an opportunity to join a national Chartered IFA which would support the company’s growth whilst ensuring compliance standards are maintained to the highest level.”
  • Dundee-based Findlay & Company Financial Services, specialists in investment and pensions planning, bring nine staff and more than £120m AUM to Fairstone, with fee income of over £1m. Steve Race, company principal, said: “Moving to Fairstone will enable our firm to grow and improve our business proposition for our customers, advisers and administration staff.”
  • Andrew Cohen Associates Ltd, based in Ashdon, Essex, bring £1m in fee income and £145m AUM to Fairstone, as well as eight staff and 750 active clients. Company principal, Frank Banks-Seeney said: “I spent a long time looking for a partner firm to grow with. Fairstone ticked a lot of boxes – independent, a good reputation, no vertical integration and well resourced. I felt that as companies, we were like-minded in our approach and priorities – clients must come first.”

The banks can initially provide up to £30m into this structure with Fairstone deciding to take a 50% hold from each institution in the first stage of the facility.
The announcement came alongside Fairstone’s results announcement, which was made at their annual conference in Newcastle on January 31st. Attending the conference I was pleasantly surprised to see how much Fairstone have grown over the last couple of years.  They now boast an adviser team of 320 and are rated number 1 for financial planners on Trustpilot with more than 1000 client reviews.
I met a number of their advisers at the conference, and what also stood out was the positive split of women to men, and the overall youth of their team – a sign this business is here to stay.
To understand more about their propositions, including the DBO offering, contact me on louise.jeffreys@gunnerandco.com