Leeds wealth manager buys London advice firm

By Sam Shaw

Added 17th October 2016

Leeds-based wealth manager The Private Office (TPO) has acquired PQR Financial Planning, a firm of financial planners based in London, in a move that bucks the trend for large restricted advice firms to swallow smaller, independent players.

Leeds wealth manager buys London advice firm

Both chartered, independent firms join forces in a cash and equity deal, which TPO said will strengthen its London presence while creating a platform for future growth.

TPO chief executive, Stuart Phillips, said: “Recent activity in wealth management has focused on large restricted advisers buying independents to sell their own products to their clients but this acquisition challenges that trend and offers a strong, exciting alternative for clients and their advisers, who are seeking the very best in independent financial advice.”

The two firms will trade respectively as TPO and PQR, Part of the TPO Group, before consolidating fully in January and moving into PQR’s existing offices in Victoria, London.

The combined businesses will have a turnover of £8.5m ($10.4bn, €9.4bn) with plans to grow to £50m-plus and 50 advisers over the next 10 years.

Sister company Savingschampion.co.uk, the cash-saving information site, will form part of the deal.

The companies

TPO was founded in 2008 in Leeds and opened a London base in 2013. It currently has 17 advisers and runs roughly £750m of funds under management on behalf of more than 900 clients including individuals, corporates, charities and trusts.

PQR, which is based in the City of London, also offers corporate and personal financial planning, employee benefits and has focused on London and the South East. It was founded in 2003, has 11 advisers and looks after approximately £250m in client assets.

The deal was TPO’s first acquisition but did not represent the start of a deliberate acquisition strategy.

Phillips said: “Our plan is simply to be in the market and grow but we are open to discussions with independent firms if there is a good fit, professionally and culturally. We have already been approached by disillusioned formerly independent advisers who want to maintain their impartiality for clients and this will form part of our growth nationally.”

Quentin Holland, managing director at PQR Financial Planning, will continue as a partner.

He added: “During the next six months we will implement our clear plan for the integration of our businesses, and provide the best independent financial advice throughout the UK.”

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