Merger and acquisition enquiries by advice firms have jumped by 40% at the beginning of 2009, according to specialist firm Brokers4sale.com.
The firm, which advised on the recent acquisition of Wills & Partners by Oval Group, believes more and more advisers will look to consolidate in 2009 as the economic downturn prompts firms to examine their cost efficiencies.
Brokers4sale.com has observed a 40% increase in enquiries over the past twelve months, and says many firms are keen to buy.
"Interestingly we are still getting more enquiries to buy than to sell but there is more of a balance than six to 12 months ago," says senior partner Gary Medcraff.
He says mid-sized firms are looking to expand, and many have access to funding lines, enabling them to look at making acquisitions.
Firms such as Oval are keen to become major players in the UK advice market, says Medcraff, having made three acquisitions in as many years.
Brokers4sale.com has also seen rising interest among IFA firms in performing a merger.
"We have noted a greater willingness to consider a merger where previously the idea of an owner relinquishing their independence was a major stumbling block," Medcraff explains.
"Firms are looking at where they can reduce costs, and merging with the right partner can streamline admin processes while maintaining a high service level for clients."
Medcraff predicts major consolidation within the industry as firms consider their cost-base in the challenging economic environment.
Contact: John Bakie, Tel: 020 7484 9805, e-mail: [email protected]IFAonline
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