Bristol-based discretionary fund manager (DFM) and advice firm Whitechurch Securities has opened its first regional advisory office after acquiring Chelmsford Financial Management, boosting assets under advice by £90 million.
The DFM and advisory business has acquired the client bank from the Essex-based four-strong adviser firm, taking its assets under advice to £400 million.
Chelmsford boss Nick Connor will retire alongside two other colleagues.
One member of the Chelmsford team, Richard Wood, will join Whitechurch and head up the new office.
Wood will report to Whitechurch head of advice Mark Stone.
This latest acquisition adds to the 21 client banks Whitechurch bought over the past 18 months.
Gavin Haynes, Whitechurch managing director, said given the local nature of the client bank, it was important to keep an office in Essex.
‘Because of our client bank in the area we felt we needed to have a local presence, which is why we’ve opened up a regional office,’ he said. ‘It has been the largest [client bank] acquisition to date.’
Haynes added that the company was considering further expansion in the north east, where it had taken over some client banks.
He also revealed that Whitechurch’s advice offering will be restricted in the retail distribution review world due to the firm’s limited use of vehicles like investment trusts and structured products, and the use of its in-house DFM offering.
Haynes said he wanted to focus on having chartered financial planners, rather than having IFAs.
‘We feel that our chartered financial planners can best serve our clients offering advice under the restricted model,’ he said. ‘Whitechurch Securities will continue to offer whole of market advice, offering in-house discretionary management for clients who want their portfolios managed on a day to day basis, as well as advisory portfolios to clients who prefer to operate in this way.’