Fairstone steps up growth with two firms joining DBO programme

Fairstone, one of the UK’s largest Chartered Financial Planning firms, has announced that it has signed up two advisory firms to its downstream buy out programme. Brett & Randall Financial Services and Chilli Financial are well-established businesses which will bring in excess of £250m AUM to the Fairstone Group. These are the first firms to enter the DBO programme this year and Fairstone anticipates a total of nine DBO acquisitions in 2018.

Collectively, the deals bring a total of 13 advisers and support staff to the wider business as well as combined revenues of circa £1.8m. Fairstone services 41,000 private clients with over £8.1bn in investment and pension assets.

The proprietary DBO programme has seen a huge expansion over the past year and continues to be a significant driver of growth for Fairstone. In a mark of success for the programme, the Group recently announced the final acquisitions of two fully-integrated companies which had completed the DBO process. Fairstone has always stressed the importance of DBO firms becoming fully-integrated prior to final acquisition, which creates a stable and seamless transition for clients and staff. Crucially, under this model Fairstone will never increase customer charging to fund acquisitions; there will be no reduction in choice and there is no requirement to adopt solutions or platforms that are not in their clients’ best interest.

Commenting on the latest deals, Lee Hartley, CEO at Fairstone, said:

“We have seen enormous growth through our DBO programme in the past year, from IFA companies who recognise the strength of our proposition and the benefits of adopting our proven approach for clients. Where we identify real quality in a business, we will work with those companies to achieve their growth targets, lift the regulatory burden and support them with marketing and client activation initiatives. This approach has led to an average organic growth rate of 15% within our existing partner firms and we look forward to bringing some of these companies to the full-acquisition stage in the coming year.”

The latest firms to join Fairstone are:

  • Brett & Randall Financial Services is a Leicester-based IFA firm, established over 35 years ago. The company began by advising a large number of company pension schemes but over the years has brought their expertise to individual high net worth individuals. Ralph Mitchell, company principal, said: “Fairstone are a large national IFA firm with the resources and compliance support required to flourish in today’s market. They put clients at the centre of their planning, which marries perfectly with our ethos. We undertook significant due diligence and believe there was no other proposition which matched Fairstone’s offering.”
  • Chilli Financial operates from Stockton- on-Tees and the advisory team brings over 65 years’ experience to Fairstone. Chilli Financial provides advice to corporate clients as well as offering retirement, investment, protection and estate planning services to their private clients. Business principal, Ian Robinson said: “The financial advice market is changing rapidly and we have recognised for some time that we needed to put in place an effective plan to ensure we can continue to provide our clients with a high level of service in the future. It was clear from an early stage of discussions that Fairstone share similar values to us and a common view on how financial advice should be delivered. Importantly their national presence provides us with the infrastructure and support to achieve our long-term objectives. We look forward to developing the opportunity to partner with them and to grow our businesses together”.

Commenting on the latest firms to join Fairstone, Lee Hartley, added:

“The agreements reached with Brett & Randall Financial Services and Chilli Financial are very significant, not only because of the strength of these businesses but also the expertise and experience these mature companies can bring to the Group. We are always looking for ambitious, successful and dedicated IFA firms to join Fairstone and we can offer them a unique opportunity to expand their businesses through our unrivalled support structure. What is more, we will always work with these companies to ensure the well-being of their clients and their staff.”