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Tilney S&W to roll out hybrid digital advice service

Wealth manager will also continue to ‘explore selective M&A’ deals


Tilney Smith & Williamson is preparing to launch a hybrid digital advice service as its assets under management nearly double following the completion of the merger.

The UK wealth manager reported a 6.7% increase in net inflows last year to £704m ($996m, €819m) from £660m in 2019. It took in an additional £489m over the first quarter of 2021, according to its latest trading update.

Tilney Group’s assets under management almost doubled from £26.3bn in 2019 to £51.2bn at the end of 2020 after its merger with Smith and Williamson last September added £22.3bn to the pot, with total AuM finishing Q1 2021 at £51.6bn.

Operating income increased by 47.5% to £306m from £207m in 2019, while adjusted Ebitda increased by 34.8% to £115.4m including a fourth-month contribution from Smith and Williamson as part of the group.

Chief executive Chris Woodhouse said that on a pro forma basis, had the two business’ been merged since the start of 2020, it would have generated £506m in operating income and £165.2m in adjusted Ebitda.

Woodhouse said the merger was “transformational for the business in terms of our scale, breadth of expertise and proposition” adding that “with an enhanced client offering and a deeper pool of expertise we began 2021 better positioned than ever to support our clients”.

Hybrid digital advice service

Alongside its latest set of results, Tilney S&W revealed plans to launch a new hybrid digital advice service in the latter part of this year.

Woodhouse said that the new “modern, accessible and competitively priced” advice service will extend the company’s reach to a much wider segment of the population “including those who are currently under-serviced by the traditional wealth management industry”.

The wealth manager has been investing heavily into its digital infrastructure, hiring leading tech expert Mayank Prakash, to spearhead its digital transformation, which includes creating an integrated, data-powered financial services platform.

In March, Prakash was promoted from chief technology officer to chief operating officer amid rumours Tilney S&W is eyeing a stock market listing.

M&A opportunities

Woodhouse also said during the update that Tilney S&W was open to further acquisitions.

Off the back of the merger, Tilney S&W scooped up Surrey-based HFS Milbourne earlier this year and there were reports it was looking to buy Punter Southall Wealth.

Though Woodhouse did not mention the Punter Southall Wealth rumours, he said Tilney S&W would continue to “explore selective M&A”.

He said: “While we are undoubtedly a large business in our sector, we still have a small share in what is a huge, but fragmented, growth market.

“The disruption of the pandemic will likely accelerate the pace of consolidation of our sector, as smaller and medium-sized firms see the benefits of becoming part of a larger group.”

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