UK financial advice company Truly Independent Ltd is set to embark on an acquisition spree with three deals over the next few months, International Adviser understands.
The firms in questions are based in Wales, England and Scotland.
Truly Independent Ltd could not name the firms or talk about the deals in detail – but said the majority of the deals will be asset acquisitions.
Brian Swanson, director of business development at Truly Independent, told IA: “Advisers will join the Truly Independent brand, back-office system and platform. They will be completely independent while preparing for a stress-free industry exit.
“We will handle all regulatory matters provide professional indemnity (PI) insurance, systems, services and support functions until the adviser exits. We want to increase the adviser pool to 100 by the year end, then boost that again by another 50/60 next year, if not more.
“My targets are open ended. We have numbers we want to reach but we don’t want to stop at that. We want to grow funds on our platform to £300m in three years. We want to get to £3bn ($3.48bn, €3.49bn) AuM in five years.”
Truly Independent is not the first company to enter the acquisition market – and it has done a couple of small deals before, but it is keen to share its succession plan for exiting advisers.
Swanson said: “Over the last three years, the company has gone through exponential growth in terms of attracting advisers. Then, we have had people contact us about taking over their books whether they are IFAs or working for competitors.
“We have built a strong cash flow and now we can look to acquisitions to bolster growth. We are quite comfortable to borrow money if we need to rather than search for investors. Maintaining private ownership is important to the company.
“We have the 4×4 succession plan. Advisers can sign a contract with us and the process to sell the client book takes place four years before retirement. We pay four times renewal (based on an ongoing adviser charge of 0.5% per annum). This is equivalent to 2% of AuM.
“They can do the process one or two ways. They can join us with a view to retire on a bespoke arrangement or join us on a self-employed basis first and retire after four years. Either way, their clients will be supported by Truly Private Clients (TPC).”
TPC is a trading style of Truly Independent specifically set up for clients of retiring advisers. TPC clients are supported, and assets managed, by separate employed advisers within the company, as opposed to its IFAs who are self-employed.
Swanson added: “Over the next couple of years, a lot of our advisers will be reaching retirement age. We are looking to bring in young advisers into Truly Private Clients specifically to provide the more preferred face to face advice and support for established clients of retiring advisers. They will shadow the retiring advisers over three months before retiring. It will be a natural succession for advisers and clients.”