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Quilter, Tilney & SLA: the firms at heart of decade's top deals

The biggest deals in a decade that changed the face of the industry

The rate of buyouts has accelerated over the last 10 years as a series of wholesale regulatory reforms reshaped asset management. 

Starting with the RDR early in the decade, this has transformed the shape of the industry as a long tail of retail assets has been hoovered up by the firms with the deepest pockets and lowest unit costs. 

Trawling through old stories, press releases and some older colleagues’ memories, we have assembled a list of the biggest deals.

 

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The rate of buyouts has accelerated over the last 10 years as a series of wholesale regulatory reforms reshaped asset management. 

Starting with the RDR early in the decade, this has transformed the shape of the industry as a long tail of retail assets has been hoovered up by the firms with the deepest pockets and lowest unit costs. 

Trawling through old stories, press releases and some older colleagues’ memories, we have assembled a list of the biggest deals.

 

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Quilter

Where to start?

Quilter was acquired by Bridgepoint in 2012 and merged with Cheviot Asset Management in 2013.

Old Mutual Wealth bought the combined group in a deal that completed in February 2015.

Old Mutual Wealth has now been renamed as Quilter and its national advice arm has been busy, completing 13 acquisitions across the UK since the start of 2018. 

Pictured: CEO Paul Feeney

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Tilney Group

OK bear with us here, if you though Quilter was web... 

Tilney, as it is now, has been formed over the past decade from a spider’s web of companies that takes some untangling.

In 2009, Ashcourt Asset Management announced that it was going to merge with Rowan & Co, later rebranding as Ashcourt Rowan.

Also in 2009, another company, Towry Law, had acquired the UK arm of American firm Edward Jones, which had £1.5 billion in AUM.

In 2013, private equity firm Permira acquired Bestinvest. A year later, it bought Tilney from Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management and decided to merge the two, which completed in 2015, creating Tilney Bestinvest.

Meanwhile, in 2014, two boutiques, Ingenious Asset Management and Thurleigh Investment Managers, decided to merge. Two years after their merger, Tilney Bestinvest bought the company, dropping both names and rebranding it as Tilney Asset Management.

In 2015, and Towry bought Ashcourt Rowan for £120 million. A year later, Tilney Bestinvest bought Towry in a £600 million deal, subsequently rebranding as the Tilney Group.

Following the integration, in December 2018, Tilney made a further two acquisitions: Index Wealth Management and Moore Stephens’ wealth arm.

Pictured: CEO Chris Woodhouse

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Waverton

Waverton is another firm that metamorphosised in a series of changes over the decade. 

The chain of events  started in 2013, when Credit Suisse sold JO Hambro Investment Management to Bermuda National Limited in 2013.

A year later the company was rebranded as Waverton.

Then, in 2016, it bought boutique 2CG Senhouse.

Pictured: CEO Andrew Fleming

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Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management

Canadian giant Canaccord Genuity become a serious contender in the UK wealth market during the period. 

Its launchpad came in 2011, with the acquisition of Collins Stewart Hawkpoint, in a deal worth £253.3 million. A year later, it bought Eden Financial’s wealth arm for £12.8 million.

The company's UK businesses were rebranded as Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management in 2013.

It swooped on Hargreave Hale in a £80 million 2017 deal that saw the 120-year-old firm's name consigned to history.

It has not stopped there, snapping up firm McCarthy Taylor this month.

Pictured: CEO David Esfandi

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Investec

Investec was another foreign firm that made an aggressive assault on the UK market over the last 10 years. 

The South African giant signalled its intent with a £233 million swoop in 2011 on Evolution group, with the broker's wealth arm Williams de Broë the jewel in the deal. It later sold the discretionary arm of Evolution to Swiss boutique Bellecapital.

This followed the acquisition of Rensburg Sheppard in March 2010, in a deal valuing the company at £412 million.

In 2015 the firm sold its £204 million multi-asset Assetmaster fund range to City Financial.

 

Pictured: Investec W&I CEO Jonathan Wragg

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Janus Henderson

The funds world has seen a series of global-scale deals.

Former Henderson Global Investors boss Andrew Formica (pictured) seemed to be constantly at the negotiating table.

His eye for a bargain prompted him to swoop on New Star in a £115 million deal in 2009 after John Duffield's firm came close to collapse during the credit crisis. 

Two years later he sealed a £335 million deal for another fund firm in crisis, Gartmore, which was sent reeling by the sudden exit of its star European equity team of Roger Guy and Guillaume Rambourg. 

Then came the big one in 2017, when Formica signed a deal with Janus in a 'merger of equals', creating a $320 billion (£245 billion) fund house. 

Formica stepped down from Janus Henderson last year and has recently been appointed chief executive of Jupiter.

 

 

 

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Standard Life Aberdeen

The Janus Henderson foreshadowed another huge deal in the asset management world. 

Both Standard Life and Aberdeen had made numerous acquisitions over the years, growing their respective businesses.

A few of the most notable purchases included Standard Life’s acquisition of Newton’s private client and charities arm in February 2013 and Aberdeen’s acquisition of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership from Lloyds Private Banking for £550 million, also in 2013.

Standard Life also bought Ignis for £390 million in 2014.

At the start of 2017, the two companies merged. A year later the combined firm sold its insurance arm to Phoenix.

Pictured: Co-CEOs Martin Gilbert & Keith Skeoch

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Schroders

After sitting on the sidelines and watching deals unfold in the early years of the decade, Schroders finally decided to join the party. 

The fund giant bought Cazenove Capital for £424 million in 2013, going on to acquire the wealth management arm of C Hoare & Co in 2017, bringing together three grand old City names.

The fund house also acquired Brookfield Investment Management’s $4 billion securities products team in 2016, and private equity business Adveq Holdings a year later.

Continuing its expansion into alternative assets, the firm also acquired specialist hotel investment and management business Algonquin.

Last year, it was rumoured to have bid on GAM’s hedge fund business, but was turned down.

Pictured: CEO Peter Harrison

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BMO Global Asset Management

One of the oldest names in fund management disappeaed in the period.

F&C Asset Management, which itself acquired Thames River Capital in 2010 for £53.6 million, was subsequently bought by BMO in 2014 for £708 million.  

The F&C name was dropped a year later.

Pictured: CEO Kristi Mitchem

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Rathbones

While not maintaining a relatively low profile over the 10 years, Rathbones made went about striking a series of deals. 

These included the 2009 buy of Lloyds' private client business, which it followed swiftly with the £10 million purchase of Taylor Young’s wealth business, and the acquisition of RM Walkden & Co.

Two years later it won the battle for Jupiter's private client and charity business, paying £43.1 million for the unit, before acquiring Tilney's London business.

And Rathbones was not finished there. 

In 2016 it bought Vision Independent Financial Planning and Castle Investment Solutions in an £18 million deal. It followed this with the £104 million purchase of Scotland's largest wealth manager, Speirs and Jeffrey, in 2018. 

Pictured: CEO Philip Howell

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Brooks Macdonald

Under then chief executive Chris Macdonald, Brooks Macdonald was also no slouch.

Beginning in 2009, Brooks Macdonald took on Lawrence House Fund Managers. Two years later, the firm bought Clark Willmott’s investment team, and in 2012, it struck what proved to be a less successful deal to take over Channel Islands-based Spearpoint for £23 million.

Later, in 2014, it acquired DPZ Capital for £5.7 million and Levitas Investment Management services, which took assets under management to over £6 billion at the time.

Pictured: Current CEO Caroline Connellan

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Brewin Dolphin

The wave of consolidation sweeping through the industry brought a number of firms out of their shells. 

One of the best examples of this was Brewin Dolphin.

In the previous decade the firm had made a number of acquisitions to build its national presence. However, it put the brakes on for most of the last 10 years after launching a strategic review under previous boss Jamie Matheson at the end of 2011.   

In March 2017 Brewin was finally read to make a move again, sealing a £28 million deal for Duncan Lawrie Asset Management. It complemented this with the purchase of retiring adviser David Hogg's business last year. 

Pictured: CEO David Nicol

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St. James's Place

St. James's Place is not a company one automatically thinks of when it comes acquisitions in wealth management, having targeted growth by recruiting advisers into its partner practice. 

it broke the habit of a lifetime with the 2015 purchase of Bristol's Rowan Dartington however, in a deal worth up to £34 million. The discretionary firm, after going through years of hardship, had been sold to a consortium of private investors led by Graham Coxell in 2011.

Pictured: CEO Andrew Croft

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Charles Stanley

Charles Stanley is another that has been selective in its acqusitions over the last 10 years

In 2009, Charles Stanley acquired Matterley Asset Management, expanding its funds range. The next acquisition for the business was Evercore Pan Asset Capital Management, co-founded by Tory MP John Redwood and Christopher Aldous, in 2013.

Pictured: CEO Paul Abberley

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Brown Shipley

Brown Shipley has opted for a combination of acquisitions and organic growth

It picked off the investment management arms of Scottish law firms Lindsays in 2009 and Gillespie Macandrew in 2011.

It then changed tack, buying IFAs Hampton Dean in 2016 and The Roberts Partnership the next year.

The private bank acquired Insinger de Beaufort's 27-strong London branch, upping its AUM by £1.5 billion.

Pictured: CEO Alan Mathewson

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7IM

In June 2015 private equity trust Caledonia Investments acquired a a majority stake in wealth manager Seven Investment Management. 

Caledonia's backing helped Seven IM subsquently seal a deal for Scottish boutique Tcam last May, with the firm providing £14 million to help fund the purchase.  

Pictured: CEO Tom Sheridan

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LGT Vestra

Finally, unlike others in this list, Vestra did not make any acquisition after it was set up by a team of former UBS bankers a little more than 10 years ago.

After its sustained growth, it became the target of a predator instead.

LGT Group bought a majority stake in Vestra Wealth for £135 million in March 2016, rebranding the wealth manager as LGT Vestra.

Last year, the company brought Genesis Wealth under its umbrella and also acquired part of the client book of failed wealth firm Greyfriars Asset Management.

Pictured: Founder David Scott

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