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Collins Stewart plots regional acquisition to expand UK presence

by Annabelle Williams on Nov 09, 2012 at 10:38

Collins Stewart plots regional acquisition to expand UK presence

Collins Stewart Wealth Management is planning to build its regional presence in the UK by snapping up a local chain in the next three to five years, chief executive Neil Darke has said.

Speaking exclusively to Wealth Manager, Darke said he would like to see Collins Stewart establish a regional presence in the UK, and that this is most likely to happen through acquisitions rather than organic growth.

‘I have talked to people about regional offices but it’s difficult, it can be quite slow and time consuming,’ he said. ‘But I think there are going to be regional offices and I think they will be through acquisition.’

Darke said Collins Stewart would likely look to buy a chain of offices rather than set up its own regional outposts, partly due to its acquisitive history but also because the company finds buyouts an easier route to expansion.

It bought out Surrey-based IFA and wealth manager Anderson Charnley and Corazon Capital in 2010, and over the next six months is focusing on integrating its most recent purchase, the wealth management arm of boutique Eden Financial.

Collins Stewart grew out of offshore roots with long-established offices in Jersey and Guernsey. But Darke said he is planning for future growth across the UK’s regions as he acknowledges that less growth can be expected from the firm’s traditional territory in the islands.

‘We have got a strong brand and business in the Crown Dependencies … [but] the Crown Dependencies are struggling on a macro level. There is not a lot of new growth being created, so they are having to go further afield to get that growth.’

Collins Stewart is also enhancing its range of services with the launch of a unitised version of its Risk Enhanced Multi-Asset Portfolios (Remap) service next month.

The five-strong portfolio range, which is aimed at IFAs and their clients, launched in March following two years’ work looking at asset correlations during times of market stress.

Darke said the unitised models were being launched for smaller clients, and caters for increased demand for risk-rated products.

The minimum investment level of £250,000 on the portfolio service has been lowered to £50,000 on the unitised version. ‘We have begun to see that in asset allocation more generally, they [IFAs] are realising its two sides of the same coin, one side is return and the other side is risk,’ he said.

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