Kingswood makes double acquisition to reach four this year

Kingswood Holdings has acquired two firms in the South of England, adding £607mn to its funds under management, and taking their total to £7.2bn from 19,300 active clients.

The consolidator has acquired Eastleigh-based adviser firm Aim Independent, in a deal worth up to £3.6mn, and Essex-based Joseph R Lamb Independent Financial Advisers, in a deal worth up to £15.3mn.

The strategic acquisition of the Essex firm significantly strengthens Kingswood’s presence in the South of England and create a hub business for future acquisitions. 

Joseph Lamb was set up in 1970 and provides financial advice to more than 1,930 active clients with approximately £393mn assets under administration. It currently employs seven advisers, with 18 support staff.

Kingswood has bought the firm for £15.3mn payable over a two-year period, with £7.65mn paid once the deal is approved and the rest to be paid on meeting performance targets.

David Lawrence, UK chief executive officer at Kingswood, said: “This acquisition creates a hub in Essex for Kingswood from which to grow and increases our footprint in the South which is strategically important to us.

Martin Lamb, company principal, said: “I have spent four years investigating our options for a possible merger or sale, looking to find a ‘partner’ that would enable us to take all aspects of our business forward and improve everything for the benefit of clients and staff. 

“I am confident that Kingswood, as a leading advice business, have the team and culture to be able to do this and I am very excited about being able to deliver better outcomes for everybody.

“We have been impressed with the Kingswood proposition, back office and systems and the depth of quality in their management team. This should enable us to work together for everyone’s benefit and deliver my ambition of delivering the best possible long-term outcome for all stakeholders and clients.”

Aim was founded in 2000 and is run by Phil Watson, managing director and Andy Davies, director. They employ three other advisers and six support colleagues.

The IFA provides financial advice to more than 750 clients, which are predominantly based in Hampshire and manages £217mn of client assets.

Kingswood will pay £3.6m for the business, upon approval from the regulator – spread over a 2 year time period, with £1.8mn paid at completion and the remaining consideration to be deferred.

David Lawrence, UK chief executive officer at Kingswood, said: ”My ambition for Kingswood is to become a leading wealth management advisory and investment management business, breaking the £7bn AUA/M mark is a huge signal to that as we continue to grow our geographical footprint across the UK. Our acquisition of Aim will further expand that reach into a new county in the south.”

He added: ”This is our fourth acquisition of 2022 and we continue to have a strong pipeline of high-quality UK opportunities under negotiation, three of which are in exclusive due diligence.

“Our next near-term target is to build our UK AUA/M to in excess of £10bn in the UK and £14bn globally and we have the balance sheet to do so.”

In the year ending July 31, 2021, Aim generated revenue of £1.2mn and a pre tax profit of £479,000.

Aim’s Watson said: “We had two objectives we wanted to achieve when we began to search for a potential buyer, succession planning and economies of scale. With Kingswood, we believe we have found the qualities of leadership, talent and knowledge to build on our reputation and create a stronger company with new pathways for growth. 

“We are confident that we have made the right choice for both our colleagues and our clients for their future prosperity.”

These are the two most recent acquisitions in a flurry of deals funded by Pollen Street Capital, such as the purchases of AFS and DJ Cooke earlier this month. Pollen Street has now provided £77.4m of its £80m commitment to Kingswood. To date, the funds have been distributed through eleven rounds of share issues.

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