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The great consolidation wheel keeps on turning

By Alex Johnson | 21 March 2024 | 2 minute read

Consolidation continues to reshape the UK financial advice market and was cited as a key driver alongside other big C-s like Cost and Consumer Duty in the CEO panel at NextWealth Live, our annual conference hosted on March 19th. Our latest publication, the Consolidation & Aggregators Report, details 133 publicly disclosed acquisitions in 2023, with 25 occurring in the first quarter. We have seen a reduction in the volume of deals compared to last year during the first quarter of 2024.

Quarterly IFA acquisitions

Source: NextWealth Consolidator & Aggregator Report 2024

Despite the year’s slower pace, we anticipate a robust pipeline of forthcoming acquisitions set to finalise in the upcoming months and indeed we have already seen several noteworthy large-scale acquisitions. Titan Wealth, a private equity-backed consolidator, recently finalised its purchase of Prism Financial Advice, augmenting its assets under advice by £630 million. Söderberg & Partners bought a stake in Fidelius – another consolidating firm. Most recently, 7IM announced their acquisition of Eastcote Wealth Management, a financial planning and advice firm overseeing £430 million in assets.

7IM’s acquisitions are part of a new trend in the last year of platforms making significant acquisitions. Wealthtime (formerly Novia) also announced in January that they were exploring acquiring for distribution as part of a 12-to-18-month project. We expect to see more platforms making acquisitions to grow their distribution over the coming years.

We also hosted a consolidator panel at NextWealth Live with industry experts including Caroline Hawksley from Progeny, Dean Proctor from 7IM, and Jonathan Polin from Atomos. On the panel they shared their thoughts on the state of consolidation and the future of financial advice. The panellists all expressed optimism about the ongoing trend of consolidation as well as the benefits of private equity.

The involvement of private equity (PE) firms in the financial advice consolidation space is a topic of varied opinion. However, PE firms are still actively investing in financial advice firms, this was most recently evidenced by Charlesbank purchasing CBPE Capital’s stake in Perspective Financial Group. While opinions on PE involvement in the media are varied, the consensus at the NextWealth Live panel was positive, and we expect future PE entrants and PE-backed advice firms to continue to grow.

Overall, despite increased interest rates and regulation we believe that consolidation will continue in the UK advice market. For more detail about the state of consolidation click here to read about how to purchase our 2024 Consolidator & Aggregators Report.

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