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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a743286

How will the SandAire-Lord North Street tie-up work?

by Danielle Levy on Apr 02, 2014 at 07:00

How will the SandAire-Lord North Street tie-up work?

SandAire and Lord North Street will continue to be run as separate entities following their merger, with the new management team taking its time over the integration and the name of the combined business.

Subject to regulatory approval, SandAire and Lord North Street are set to merge operationally. Lord North Street has technically been acquired by SandAire, with key employees given shares in the business.

It is a move the two firms hope will create a force to be reckoned with in the UK private investment office market, with billions under management.

Both investment offices have faced each other as competitors for many years – with major families, individuals and endowments, including Oxford and Cambridge colleges, forming the bulk of both client bases.

‘A good fit’

Lord North Street co-founder William Drake explained: ‘Alex [Scott] and I kept in touch as competitors. We wanted to see if our instinct was right if we would be a good fit, given that we both built the businesses from scratch and tried to create something different from the market and banks.

‘We came up with almost identical conclusions about the business model, charging clients without any bias towards more expensive asset classes and wanting to use external managers rather than funds. These are the key elements of our business models. There are small technical differences but the fundamentals are remarkably the same.’

He added that the deal was not driven by a desire to bring about cost savings, but a motivation to capitalise on the combined strengths of the two organisations to ‘raise the game so that London has an absolutely world class private investment office’.

He hoped the deal will allow both companies to develop a sound proposition for the future.

‘It is an unusual transaction because it is not driven by cost savings at all. There are no redundancies or anything like that,’ Drake said.

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