Fairstone aquires Utopia Financial Planning

Fairstone has announced the acquisition of West Yorkshire based Utopia Financial Planning – the sixth acquisition announced in 2021.

The acquisition by the full-service wealth management house has been carried out via Fairstone’s Downstream Buy Out (DBO) acquisition model. The model integrates ambitious forward-thinking IFA firms into the group, prior to final acquisition.

Utopia is a whole-of-market advice firm specialising in advice and management of investment and retirement portfolios.

The acquisition brings an additional 800 clients, along with Utopia Financial Planning’s four advisers and six support staff. The acquisition also secures funds under management in excess of £100 million.

Lee Hartley, CEO of Fairstone, said:

 “We are delighted to complete the final acquisition of Utopia Financial Planning. They are exactly the kind of robust firm we are looking to join Fairstone and grow with us.

“Our experience shows that culturally aligned firms are the most profitable and successful in the long-term. Ray, Darron and the team at Utopia place clients at their core and their commitment to first class service therefore makes them an excellent fit for us.

“Within Fairstone, we invest in forward thinking IFA firms to optimise their capital value, providing the framework they need to significantly grow their business, without compromising on client service or independence.”

Utopia Financial Planning Principals, Darron Whitehead and Ray Garnett, said that the Fairstone proposition appealed because it provided continuity and long-term reassurance for clients and staff for years to come.

Darron Whitehead commented: 

“Fairstone share our client centred ethos as well as our commitment to providing first class service, while remaining independent.

“We have always strived to provide the best possible service for our clients. Also, we are very confident that the acquisition with Fairstone will enhance the relationship and services our clients have come to expect.”

Ray Garnett added: 

“We are very proud to become part of the Fairstone family, who will help us to look after our clients and their families for generations to come.” 

With 42 locations across the UK, Fairstone is the number one wealth management firm on Trustpilot. The firm oversees £11 Billion FUM for over 40,000 wealth clients.

Lee Hartley said: “Fairstone partner with high-quality firms who we can invest in and support their progression before acquiring those businesses in future years.

“Our approach is the exact opposite of the traditional ‘consolidator’ model. Our underlying numbers – from client satisfaction and client retention through to earn-out performance – fully back this up.”

To stay up-to-date with the latest M&A activity in the advice market, sign up to our fortnightly newsletter here.