Based near Saffron Walden, Andrew Cohen Associates is a whole-of-market advice firm specialising in advice and management of investment and retirement portfolios.
The acquisition brings an additional 850 clients into the group together with Andrew Cohen Associates’ four advisers and six support staff.
The acquisition also brings gross fee income of £1m for Fairstone together with funds under management of £150m.
The acquisitions has been under its proprietary Downstream Buy Out (DBO) acquisition model where firms are integrated into the group, typically over two years, prior to the final acquisition.
Eight firms have joined the DBO programme so far this year, bringing over £1.2bn in funds under management to the business.
The Planner said this approach allows them to acquire “robust and well-managed firms that want to grow and develop, therefore crystallising a higher overall valuation in the future” rather than firms that want to sell today.
Lee Hartley, CEO of Fairstone, said: “We are delighted to complete the final acquisition of Andrew Cohen Associates, having worked hand-in-hand with them throughout the integration phase.
“The team are a strong cultural fit for Fairstone, with high quality individuals who really care and put clients at the heart of what they do. Acquisitions like this are easy when you’re dealing with professional people who genuinely understand the modern world of wealth management.
“Within Fairstone, we work hard to ensure our proposition gives firms the framework they need to significantly grow their businesses, without compromising on client service or independence. Finalising this deal with Andrew Cohen marks a valued addition to our group and continues our scheduled growth plan for 2020.”
Frank Banks-Seeney, company principal at Andrew Cohen Associates, said that Fairstone’s approach to risk and compliance was a major factor in the attractiveness of the acquisition.
He said: “The opportunity to spend more time with clients and less time dealing with regulation was the main driver behind us wanting to join Fairstone. The compliance resources Fairstone provides are beyond the reach of a smaller directly authorised firm and allow us to provide clients with a more focused service as a result. More than that, we have the comfort of knowing that Fairstone have extremely high standards when it comes to managing risk and business quality – this means as a business we are in good company.
“As the integration with Fairstone has been gradual and structured, clients have been able to get used to the name change while also experiencing the same excellent standards of service. We retain a local presence and now have the backing of a strong, national Chartered firm that thinks the same way that we do – essentially giving us, and more importantly our clients, the best of both worlds.”
Fairstone is headquartered in Newcastle and has over 69,000 clients and operates over 42 locations. It has fee income in excess of £65m.
In September the Chartered Financial Planner group reported 22% growth in recurring income in 2019. The acquisitive firm, in its annual results for 2019, reported that recurring income in the year rose to £41.5m (£34.1m in 2018), 65% of advisory revenue. Funds under management in 2019 increased by 12.5% to £8.1bn.