Wealth manager eyes £1bn AuM by 2025 with acquisition spree

It paused M&A plans during the pandemic

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London and Bristol-based Bowmore Wealth Group is looking to get back on the acquisition trail as it targets £1bn ($1.24bn, €1.17bn) in assets under management (AuM) by 2025.

The group offers both financial planning and investment management via Bowmore Financial Planning and Bowmore Asset Management, respectively.

The wealth firm had to put its acquisition plans on hold during the pandemic as the deal flow dried up as the uncertainty of covid paused business owners’ plans.

But Bowmore is nearing completion of its first post-covid deal with the acquisition of an unnamed financial planning practice that specialises in dealing with the medical profession.

Bowmore Wealth Group is set to have around £400m in assets under administration by July this year. It plans to accelerate both its organic and external growth, seeking to add another £300m in assets through acquisitions and an additional £300m organically.

Criteria

Bowmore said it is “very selective in the companies it acquires” and plans to make one or two acquisitions of IFAs or DFMs annually.

Mark Incledon, chief executive of Bowmore Wealth Group, said: “Covid slowed down our plans for acquisitions. However, we’re committed to only merging with, or acquiring businesses that have the right cultural fit. We find that we best assess cultural fit through face-to-face meetings – something covid didn’t allow much of.

“Saying that, our desire to only pursue high quality with the right cultural fit means we might lose out on some deals to the big consolidators, but we are very comfortable with that.”

“We know there are lots of IFAs and DFMs out there struggling to get to the next level. Many of these are high quality businesses which have grown to around £100m in AuM, but then find they are being held back by ever rising compliance and other back-office costs.

“However, they don’t want to become part of the factory style of financial advice that some consolidators offer. Ultimately, this means they will lose their identity as a business and end up offering a lesser service to their clients.”

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