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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a746846

Aberdeen co-founder takes wealth firm public to fund acquisitions

by Robert St George on Apr 17, 2014 at 12:39

Aberdeen co-founder takes wealth firm public to fund acquisitions

European Wealth has staged a reverse takeover of its parent company that will see it list on AIM.

The terms of the deal involve the firm’s listed parent EW Group – which owns almost half of European Wealth; a high proportion of the balance is owned by European Wealth’s managers – buying the entire business for £7.1 million. This constitutes a reverse takeover under the market’s rules.

‘We believe that significant opportunities for growth, both organic and acquisitive, exist within the wealth management industry,’ explained Paul Everitt, executive director of EW Group.

However, he argued that European Wealth’s current ownership arrangement ‘does not provide an efficient structure through which to raise growth capital’.

Everitt concluded: ‘For [European Wealth] to fully exploit the opportunities for growth, both organically and by acquisition, within the wealth management industry then the ownership…need[s] to be consolidated in order to provide clarity to current and future investors.’

The EW Group was founded in 2004 as a private-equity vehicle. In April 2012 it acquired a 33% stake in European Wealth, which it subsequently increased to 49% in March 2013.

Since the original investment in 2012, European Wealth has grown its funds under management from £150 million to more than £710 million today.

The firm is headquartered in London, and after a series of four acquisitions it has expanded with regional offices now in Brighton, Cheltenham, Worcester, Wokingham and East Malling. It currently employs 54 people and also draws on 11 consultants.

European Wealth’s founding team includes several industry veterans, including Aberdeen Asset Management co-founder George Robb, former Ashcourt chief executives Rod Gentry (pictured) and John Morton.

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