Potential £2bn merger planned between Rathbones and Smith & Williamson

If negotiations between Rathbones and Smith & Williamson end with an agreement to merge, a £2bn wealth management firm with assets of over £50bn would be created.
The investment management firm Rathbones has confirmed that talks are underway, although it is not currently certain if the merger will go ahead. Reports reveal that the potential merger will be structured as a takeover of Smith & Williamson by Rathbones. This would be the most recent M&A in the wealth management industry, following Canaccord Genuity’s purchase of Hargreave Hale in July.
Rathbones, a FTSE 250 firm, has a market capitalisation of £1.4bn and has seen an increase in its stock of over 50% in the past year, while Smith & Williamson is valued at £600m and is one of the UK’s largest accountancy firms.
Both firms have seen a considerable rise in profits, with Rathbones’ half-year profits rising by nearly 23% in the period to 30 June compared to the same period in 2016, and Smith & Williamson’s profits increasing by 22% in the six month period to 31 October.