Benchmark Capital, a financial planning solutions firm and part of the Schroders Group, has acquired Kennedy Independent Financial (KFA).

KFA will be the second purchase Benchmark has made in Northern Ireland following the deal for Waterhouse Financial Planning in May 2022. This also boosts the firm’s plan to build a central hub in Derry, adding £80m ($98.4m) in assets, strengthening the local team and accelerating growth in the country.

In addition, the business and staff will become part of Benchmark and will move to its premises in Derry.

This latest deal is part of Benchmark’s strategy to support high-quality advisers with a long-term view to its own future.

Ed Dymott, managing director wealth, Benchmark, said: “Kennedy Independent Financial Advice is a much-valued addition to the Benchmark family. It not only has a strong reputation for providing quality advice but has strong ties to the local area and a deep understanding of their clients. We feel this very much aligns with our own values and we look forward to working with them to further strengthen our base in Derry and also provide support for future growth and development in the region.”

Michael Kennedy, managing director, Kennedy Independent Financial Advice, added: “Our partnership with Benchmark marks an exciting development in the next chapter of KFA that will provide security and stability for our clients and our staff. We pride ourselves on our personal approach and working with client’s long-term goals in mind. Benchmark share this long-term philosophy and will enable us to deliver the same quality advice, but with the added benefit of access to a wider pool of support through their technology enabled proposition. We’re looking forward to moving to the new offices in Derry and the potential that this move unlocks for us and the commitment to Chartered financial advice in the region.”

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This month, Schroders Personal Wealth (SPW), a joint venture between Schroders and Lloyds Banking Group, has chosen AI fintech firm Aveni to improve its compliance capabilities.

Under the tie-up, SPW will use Aveni’s AI-based platform, Aveni Detect, to supervise interactions with customers and create data-driven compliance evidence.