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Bellpenny backs RDR to accelerate acquisition frenzy

by Michelle Abrego on Jan 29, 2013 at 14:49

Bellpenny backs RDR to accelerate acquisition frenzy

Bellpenny, the newest adviser consolidator on the block, launched in a bullish manner last year, claiming it was poised to swoop on £400 million of assets; with a further £600 million in the pipeline.

The group is not yet four months old but, in a strong start to 2013, has already delivered on one half of that pledge, and chief executive Kevin Ronaldson (pictured) is confident the retail distribution review (RDR) will only hasten its growth.

Bellpenny completed on a flurry of deals this month, acquiring Tunbridge Wells-based Brunning Newman Houghton, Sussex-based Private Portfolio, Essex-based Solutions Financial Services and Nottingham-based Vermillion Wealth. It followed that with its largest deal, buying the IFA arm of Monmouthsire Building Society.

More acquisition activity

Ronaldson is eyeing up the acquisition of a further 20 firms over the next year, as the RDR continues to squeeze the IFA sector.

‘There will be more firms that realise that perhaps they can’t deliver to the standard they have set in their client’s mind and they’ll think: “Well, if I can’t deliver on it, maybe I should find another solution”,’ he said.

He is equally bullish about Bellpenny’s ability to cope with a large influx of assets. ‘There’s a really good chance we might do 15 of a much larger size or 25 of a smaller size, but collectively we will only do as many as we can competently deal with,’ he said.

‘Our systems, our own investment funds and our backers are such that we can scale up to any size. We are willing to get into discussions with any business of any size as long as they understand that we will only take the business if they operate in our way.’

Selective about targets

While the group is set for a year of aggressive acquisition, Ronaldson says it will maintain stringent criteria when assessing possible targets.

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