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SJP to acquire Irish boutique to expand DFM business

SJP to acquire Irish boutique to expand DFM business

St James's Place is to acquire Dublin-based Harvest Financial Services in a move that will extend its discretionary services to clients in Ireland. 

The purchase of Harvest Financial Services is expected to add approximately €1 billion (£854 million) in assets under administration and advice, and over 50 people. SJP's discretionary arm, Rowan Dartington, has £2.3 billion in assets under management. 

The deal comes a day after SJP said it will be broadening the range of services its subsidiary Rowan Dartington offers. SJP chief executive Andrew Croft had also hinted at bolt-on acquisitions in the company's final results published yesterday. 

It is understood that the acquisition will cost SJP no more than €10 million, or 1% of assets. 

Harvest Financial was set up in 1993 and offers pensions, financial planning and investment advice to around 1,500 clients. The firm currently does not have portfolio management permissions from the Central Bank of Ireland, but it will be applying to get them. 

Rowan Dartington executive chairman Graham Coxell (pictured) said that the investment strategy, asset allocation and portfolio construction for clients will be driven from the firm's UK bases. 

After the deal completes, the firm will operate under the SJP brand. 

Coxell added that the presence in Ireland will also allow the company to expand its offering by launching different strategies, such as portfolios in euros. 

He said: 'This acquisition supports St James’s Place Group’s strategic growth plans of continuing to invest and extend Rowan Dartington’s proven DFM capabilities. With our ability to build locally orientated investment solutions, we are well placed to extend our offering into the Republic of Ireland.

‘As a marketplace, Ireland shares many of the same characteristics as the UK, while Harvest has an established track record of providing high quality financial and investment advice and pension services to clients there. The firm shares many of our values and we look forward to working closely together to provide leading investment management services to Irish clients, helping them to achieve their financial objectives.'

Gerry Devitt, CEO of Harvest, added: 'This deal is testament to the hard work of all Harvest staff and we are extremely excited that St James’s Place is bringing its market-leading proposition and expertise to the Republic of Ireland.'

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