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Chris Macdonald: adviser outsourcing contest is no threat to our business

by Danielle Levy on Sep 25, 2012 at 08:03

Chris Macdonald: adviser outsourcing contest is no threat to our business

Brooks Macdonald chief executive Chris Macdonald has all but ruled out further acquisitions of IFA businesses and dismissed concerns that it will lose share of outsourced assets as other wealth managers buy up adviser client banks.

Circling overhead

With a number of advisers expected to retire ahead of the retail distribution review (RDR) deadline, many wealth managers are circling overhead waiting to pick up their assets. Although many of the acquiring firms would be expected to migrate these into their own businesses, Macdonald (pictured) is confident his business can maintain its dominant position in the market.

His comments follow the firm’s acquisition of Park Street London, a retiring financial adviser that was a long-term introducer of funds and clients to the group, for an initial cash payment of £2.3 million plus £700,000 net assets of cash.

This will be paid in instalments over three years, dependent on client retention. Macdonald describes the acquisition as a one-off transaction, aimed at buying out the income stream.

‘Are we going to buy retirees? We are almost certainly not going to, because we almost certainly have 100% of the clients there [at Park Street],’ he said. ‘Is it a threat to our distribution in terms of individuals retiring? We don’t think so because largely we are dealing with firms as opposed to individuals.’

Brooks said its 13-strong team dedicated to new business has taken on assets from 179 new introducing firms this financial year, upping its total to 420. Eleven strategic partnerships with intermediaries were also signed, bringing in around £1 billion in assets over the 12 months to the end of June.

This helped to contribute to a 19% rise in assets under management to £3.52 billion over the same period, while pre-tax profits rose 17% to £8.5 million. 

‘Enormous opportunities’

In the wake of the acquisitions of Park Street and the investment management division of Clarke Wilmott last year, Macdonald said the firm continues to look at acquisitions but also sees ‘enormous opportunities’ for organic growth.

Meanwhile, Nick Holmes, joint managing director, added that obvious gaps where the business does not have a presence remain in the Midlands and the Channel Islands.

‘How many opportunities do we look at per month? Between five and 10. How many do we take? Four in the past 25 years, it just happens that two have been in the past 12 months… I can’t guarantee [we] will be doing them, but also wouldn’t rule them out,’ he said.

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