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July 8, 2021

Fairstone buys £100m West Yorkshire advice firm

By Verdict Staff

Fairstone has reportedly acquired West Yorkshire-based advice firm Utopia Financial Planning, marking its sixth deal this year.

The British consolidator carries out the deals via its downstream buyout programme (DBO).

Under this model, the company first purchases a stake in the to-be acquired firm and integrates it over a two-year period, before making the final purchase.

The latest acquisition adds funds under management in excess of £100m to Fairstone. It also brings 800 clients as well as Utopia’s four advisers and six support staff to the group.

Claimed to be whole-of-market advice firm, Utopia specialises in advice and management of investment and retirement portfolios.

Fairstone CEO Lee Hartley said: “We are delighted to complete the final acquisition of Utopia Financial Planning. They are exactly the kind of robust firm we are looking to join Fairstone and grow with us.

“Our experience shows that culturally aligned firms are the most profitable and successful in the long-term. Ray, Darron and the team at Utopia place clients at their core and their commitment to first class service makes them an excellent fit for us.”

Utopia acquisition comes weeks after the firm’s purchase of Nottingham-based financial planning firm James Ryan Thornhill for an undisclosed amount.

It also acquired Dundee-based Findlay & Company Financial Services, Glasgow-based financial advisory firm Chartermarque and Hammett and Petch Financial Planning this year.

Newcastle-headquartered Fairstone recently secured a major funding from private equity firm TA Associates, providing an enhanced capital base to accelerate its acquisition.

Fairstone’s existing private equity investor Synova also reinvested in the consolidator.

Moreover, the company’s existing backer Alcentra increased the scale of the acquisition facilities available to the consolidator.

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