Kingswood makes first acquisition of 2021

Kingswood Holdings has purchased Admiral Wealth Management, the Lincolnshire-based chartered financial planning firm. The deal will contribute 600 clients and a team of nine employees, including two advisers, to Kingswood. In addition, the acquisition will add £100m in assets under management.

The deal is worth nearly £4m. Kingswood will pay an initial £2m at closing, with the balance paid on a deferred basis, subject to the fulfilment of strategic performance goals.

It is the first acquisition under the leadership of Kingswood’s new CEO, David Lawrence. 

Mr Lawrence spoke about the acquisition:

“Since becoming UK CEO at the turn of the year, I have focussed on building momentum in the business and expanding our capabilities to integrate and grow. 

“Our focus on enhancing the client experience is paying dividends. I am delighted that we now have nearly £200m in our internal MPS. 

“I am thrilled to announce our first acquisition under my leadership and look forward to welcoming Mike Biggin, Adam Harrison, and the Admiral team to Kingswood.”

He added: “We remain absolutely committed to perpetuating our stated growth strategy within the UK and internationally. 

“Whilst this is our first acquisition of 2021, we have a strong pipeline of high-quality UK opportunities under negotiation. Four of which are in exclusive due diligence representing pro-forma operating profit in excess of £2.5m, as we continue to grow our financial planning and investment management reach across the UK.”

Kingswood has been on a substantial acquisition spree since 2019, when it secured £80m of funding from Pollen Street Capital. In November 2020, for instance, Kingswood purchased Manhattan Harbor Capital, which subsequently rebranded as Kingswood US.

In its results for the year ending 31st December 2020, the group reported an increase in revenue greater than 150 per cent. Similarly, operating profit was at £900k.

Buzz West, Kingswood’s chairman, commented:

“2020 was a challenging year. Our resilience was put to the test on many fronts. It was a challenging year for business, especially one like ours which relies on personal relationships. However, I have been ecstatic with how the business has adapted and emerged from this difficult period. Despite the challenges, there are many positives to take from 2020. Most notably, the many talented new colleagues who joined across the UK and US. 

“Our partnership with Pollen Street Capital grows in strength. To date it has provided growth equity of £44.8m to support our current and future acquisition strategy. For instance, we now have 206 people across the globe managing £6.1bn of client assets.”

To stay up to date with M&A activity in the UK financial advice industry, subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter here.