An overview into the Financial Advisory marketplace combined with some war stories around getting deals done.

Financial Advisory

Financial Advisory



Expert: Dave Robson, Carmignac 

Moderator: John Chapman, John Chapman Consulting 


Cultural issues - Brook Bond example of canteen 

Torquill Clark - Skipton - Bellpenny 

Getting scale 

  • How do you get aligned with similar cultures and who is in the market?
  • Private equity, consolidators, private bankers,
  • Towry Best Invest £600m deal keeps private equity firms interested.


Where is the money coming from?

  • How do you get aligned with similar cultures and who is in the market?
  • Private equity, consolidators, private bankers.
  • Towry Best Invest £600m deal keeps private equity firms interested.
  • HSBC supporting Succession, Fairstone PE, AFH AIM listed share issue, Harwood listed on AIM.
  • Succession using capital to buy Clay Rogers, Affinity.
  • Fairstone have brought three in recent months.
  • Getting firms to integrate before they move over to them. 
  • bellpenny quiet while they digest the thirty firms they have bought.
  • Ascott Lloyd ative until recently.
  • Tavistock just bought Price Bailey - AIM
  • Perspective we're active but Tatton brand leading.
  • gallaghers buying Architas.


  • Mattioni Woods in pension market. Growth potential bigger than Hargreaves.
  •  eVester robo challenges with engagement so acquiring firms helping. 




  • Newall Palmer bought three firms. 
  • Life offices and asset managers: Schroders buying Benchmark Capital non controlling stake. 1825 with Standard Life. Old Mutual looking to buy - just bought JW planning in Cheshire.
  • Close Brothers and Brown Shipley buying high quality businesses.
  • Private Banking: emerging into this space.
  • Prices are getting sharper.
  • Lots of sellers out there but premium prices for best firms.
  • 5000 firms to approach.
  • Cottage industry nature of advisory firms. Many deals not being done as fit just isn't right. Acquiring firms need to be more discerning.
  • Too early for robo/digital plays - still embryonic - there might be a disruptor out there but will be the domain of the big brands who are already there.
  • People's perception of their business value isn't always realistic. Trying to find the right age profile of the business owners is a challenge too. Avoiding the lazy business and bringing on new talent. Buying the people rather than the assets is rare but can be done.
  • Taking people along with you is often overlooked. The cultural fit is important. Your waking talent is your biggest asset. Most complex piece of due diligence is the people piece but most important - we are a people business. Cultural fit will dictate the relative success or failure - on both sides. 
  • It's a finite falling market with reducing numbers owned by white men in their fifties - quality is patchy not always used to a robust regime or add sufficient value. 
  • Converting income into enterprise value is a challenge. 
  • Likely fewer players in provider or asset manager space or become niche. 

Volume vs quality

  • Firms looking at FCA paper and strategising over how to control the flow of business in the next five years. The unknown is the part that global asset managers can play in distribution product. Vanguard example. 
  • Aging advisors without great businesses .
  • The problem child isn't always the firm being acquired - what are the intentions of the buyer? Being authentic in your messaging.
  • See a lot of new distribution models coming out.
  • Not destroying the very thing that attracted you in the first place. Matching firms to similar business models or finding alternative / different styles to aid growth.
  • Accidental business owners now equipped to deal with mergers and acquisitions naturally.
  • Significant danger of over paying and under delivering.
  • We don't want negative publicity from poor due diligence.