Harwood Wealth Management has spent an estimated £4.3m on seven acquisitions this calendar year, with five of those deals completed and the remaining two close to completion.
The financial planning and discretionary wealth management business was able to confirm that among the five completed acquisitions were Hampshire-based firm GD White and Somerset-based IFA Castleton Financial Planning, which was acquired back in February.
Harwood added these acquisitions had helped take its assets under influence to £5.3bn as of 30 April 2019, having added £500m in the six months to that date. Its assets under management (AUM) increased by £100m in the same period, growing to £1.8bn.
Since its inception in 2004, the consolidator has acquired 70 businesses, nine of which it bought between January 2018 and Janaury 2019.
Harwood chief executive Alan Durrant said the firm had a "strong pipeline" of potential acquisition, adding there was "no shortage of opportunity". As a consolidator, he continued, Harwood was in a "luxurious position" because there were more sellers than buyers in the market.
"While we face competition from other acquirers of IFA businesses, we do not believe the level of competition is very different from our experience over the last decade," Durrant said.
'Push and pull'
"If you are a smaller IFA, the world has changed a lot - particularly in the last five years. IFAs got over the speed bump of RDR and additional qualifactions but now they have MiFID II, GDPR and increased capital adequacy. For relatively small businesses, that is just a lot to take on."
He added: "There is a push and pull factor in terms of why we do acquisitions. It gives us the opportunity to create a lot of value to our shareholders - and there doesn't seem to be any sign of that decaying."
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