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July 2018 Review

Typically a quiet month, July has had it’s fair share of developments, both within the context of wealth management M&A and the market more broadly. This reflects the continuing changes to the regulatory landscape and the increasing number of buyers and sellers in the market.

Harwood Wealth have announced that they have reached £4bn in clients assets via a string of acquisitions. The firm have acquired over 60 businesses since it’s creation in 2001 and revenue has increased 44% in the 6 months to April as shown in their recently released interim accounts.

Old Mutual completed on its acquisition of the advise arm of Carlisle based accountancy firm Saint & Co, this will be integrated into their existing Carlise hub. This acquisition brings their AUA above the £2bn mark. 

Platform provider Nucleus successfully listed on AIM on the 26th of July, with around 23% of its share capital sold in the listing. As of today it’s market cap sits at £174m.

National financial planning firm Progeny Group has acquired Evolve Financial Planning. This brings Progeny above £1bn AUA as they look to develop their operations in London and the home counties. Progeny have quadrupled their client assets over four years via a number of acquisitions.

Sanlam have successfully signed up their first partner firm, Ergowealth. This model aims to compete with the likes of SJP and 1825. It brings the partner firm within their restricted whole of market proposition, as well as providing access to acquisition capital.

On the regulatory front, there have been reports that advisers that have performed a high volume of DB transfer are struggling to get full cover as insurers become increasingly wary of the risks involved. 

A recent market study by the FCA suggested that platform discounts are encouraging advisers to leave clients on their current platform. However some advisers have branded this study  “out of date", "wrongly targeted" and “unjust” as it fails to consider single platform arrangements associated with larger vertically integrated firms.

With July being such a busy month we’re expecting a quiet August, but watch this space!

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