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How we've helped our clients: Independent Wealth Planners

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Independent Wealth Planners UK Limited (IWP) was created in 2018 to support and promote UK local independent financial advisory (IFA) firms and build a national financial advice service.

IWP provides operational and support services to its member firms (including compliance, IT, investment research, marketing, recruitment and training) allowing IFAs to concentrate their time on client work. IWP’s business proposition is to acquire local firms, but to allow key management to retain an equity stake in their businesses.

After advising them on five acquisitions in 2019, we supported IWP throughout an incredibly busy 2020. They remained relatively undeterred by the pandemic-fuelled market downturn, acquiring 13 new firms and significantly expanding their national footprint.

How did IWP expand in 2020 and how did we help?

In January 2020 we advised IWP on its first Scottish acquisition, AGL Wealth Management Limited, a firm of wealth management and corporate services specialists with offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh. AGL was founded in 2009 by Managing Director Craig Gibson. 

The Scottish acquisitions continued in January 2020 with IWP acquiring Edinburgh Wealth Management Limited. This Edinburgh-based IFA firm was established in 2003 and offers investment management, financial advice, tax planning, retirement planning and mortgage advice. 

In a third deal in January 2020, IWP acquired a stake in chartered financial planning firm, Prosper Independent Financial Advisers Ltd. Prosper was founded in 2003 by David Barton and is headquartered in Wigan, Lancashire. Prosper now functions as IWP’s main hub for Lancashire, with Managing Director David Barton leading the team there.

April 2020 saw IWP acquire a stake in Clairville York Group Limited. Founded in 1987 by Leslie Sharpe, Clairville York is headquartered Greater London and specialises in providing financial planning advice to private and corporate clients, trusts, employees and business owners. It represents IWP’s main hub for the area, with Leslie Sharpe leading and expanding the business through further acquisitions of other local IFAs.

Richmond House Wealth Management was also acquired by IWP in April 2020. Established in 1964, Richmond House has since grown into a substantial firm employing 35 staff. Headquartered in Stevenage, the firm acts as IWP’s regional hub in the Hertfordshire area. Post-acquisition IWP has leveraged the expertise of the Richmond House Investment Management and Corporate Services businesses across the IWP Group.

In May 2020 we advised IWP on the acquisition of Beyond Financial Limited, growing IWP’s presence in the West Midlands. Founded in 2007 in Solihull, the business joined IWP’s regional hub, Alexander Grace. Tony O’Driscoll heads up the firm, continuing to lead the Beyond Financial team of paraplanners and administrators.

Glaswegian firm Gilmour Hamilton Wealth Management LLP was acquired in May 2020 by IWP and joined their regional hub, AGL Wealth Management.

Cornwall-based Westinsure Webb (Financial Services) Limited joined IWP’s South West hub in June 2020. This financial planning firm has two financial advisers and has been operating for over 60 years. 

We advised on the acquisition of Carnelian Capital Management Limited by IWP in July 2020, bolstering their South East hub – Richmond House Wealth Management. The transaction saw Jonathan Howard, Managing Director of Carnelian, take on the role of CEO at Richmond House Wealth Management.

August 2020 saw IWP continue its expansion when it acquired Hunter Hammond Daniel Associates (HHDA). Financial planning firm HHDA is headquartered in Hove, Sussex. Directors Paul Hammond and Sean Parker stayed on to lead and grow the business.

Bishop Armstrong Financial Planning Ltd was the next acquisition that we advised IWP on in November 2020. Based in Leamington Spa, the firm combines wealth management with financial planning and bolsters IWP’s Midlands Hub, Alexander Grace. 

Donald Wealth Management was also snapped up by IWP in November 2020. This well-respected Birmingham-based financial planner joined the existing Alexander Grace regional hub. 

The final acquisition on which we advised IWP in 2020 was Alex M Grant & Co Ltd. Based in the North-East of Scotland, Alex M Grant & Co Ltd has provided independent financial advice to businesses and families north of the border for almost three decades. 

Looking back on our relationship with IWP

Over the last 12 months we have developed a bespoke suite of transaction documents to deal with the various types of acquisition we transact for IWP. As well as our extensive corporate advice, we supported IWP on all of its legal needs throughout the year, including placing a lawyer on secondment with them and assisting with real estate, banking, commercial, IPR, data protection, employment and litigation matters. 

IWP is an ambitious and acquisitive consolidator, which has shown impressive growth since its inception. With numerous more potential acquisitions in the pipeline, IWP look to be going from strength to strength.

Client partner, Rick Sealy, commented: “We have been thrilled to be involved with and support IWP from its inception and the last 12 months have been exciting year of further acquisitions. We look forward to continuing our relationship with IWP and assisting them in further growing their dynamic business in the future.”

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