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IFA group buys UK financial advice firm

It is the company’s first acquisition since its MBO in July 2021

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Nottingham-headquartered Wren Sterling has bought Cheshire-based IFA firm Mutual Financial Management and its discretionary fund manager arm MDFM for an undisclosed sum.

Mutual has around 1,100 clients and manages assets of about £675m ($845m, €792m).

The firm’s 29 employees and partners will all become part of the Wren Sterling Group.

Austin Hutchinson, Mutual’s managing partner, will continue to run the business and will join Wren Sterling’s executive committee.

The company will be rebranded and will provide Wren Sterling with another base in the north west to complement its seven existing locations around the UK. Once completed, the enlarged firm will comprise around 240 staff and nearly 100 advisers.

The deal takes the total assets under management (AuM) acquired by Wren Sterling over the last three years above the £1bn mark and pushes its AuM to more than £5.3bn.

It is also Wren Sterling’s first acquisition since its second management buyout funded by Lightyear Capital completed in July 2021.

Strategy

The acquisition is in line with Wren Sterling’s strategy of acquiring businesses in “key strategic locations”. The firm has a particular focus on acquiring hubs in the London, south west, Midlands and Edinburgh markets.

Ian Darby, executive chairman at Wren Sterling, said: “Acquiring a business of this calibre and scale is truly game-changing for us and shows the business’ renewed ambition following Lightyear’s investment.

“What truly sets Mutual apart are its people, who are highly entrepreneurial and innovation-led and share our commitment to the very highest levels of client service.

“Furthermore, the addition of a DFM capability gives us the option to enhance our offering for certain clients who might benefit from it, while remaining fiercely protective of our role as independent financial planners.”

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