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Ashcourt Rowan eyes major pensions opportunity via £14m wealth buy

Ashcourt Rowan eyes major pensions opportunity via £14m wealth buy

Ashcourt Rowan aims to take advantage of the pensions opportunity created by the Budget after completing the acquisition of UK Wealth Management Limited (UWML).

The £14.3 million buy increases Ashcourt’s nationwide footprint to 17 offices and its assets to more than £5 billion, of which £2.2 billion is discretionary and managed.

The enlarged firm will offer a range of services to individuals, families, business owners and employers including financial planning, discretionary fund management and employee benefits and corporate financial planning.   

Ashcourt sees the purchase as giving it ammunition to service growing needs of the retired following the overhaul of pensions in last month’s Budget. They highlight among a series of measures saw the government scrap the requirement to buy an annuity on retirement.  

Chancellor George Osborne also said the government would be investing £20 million to plug the advice gap.

In the aftermath, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and RBC highlighted how significant these changes could be to the wealth management sector.   

The shock overhaul of the pension system in the Budget potentially offers a huge opportunity for fund and wealth managers.

‘This acquisition gives us scale across our areas of operations, particularly in financial planning and pensions at a time when the spotlight is firmly on the choices individuals have to make and reinforced by the latest Budget announcement,’ Ashcourt Rowan chief executive Jonathan Polin (pictured) told the market.   

‘The opportunity exists to significantly increase our market share in the personal and workplace pension markets.’  

Following the deal UKWM director Gareth Sawyer will join Ashcourt Rowan, a signing Polin believes will be crucial to exploiting this opportunity.  

‘We are particularly pleased to welcome Gareth Sawyer to the group who will help us drive the opportunities as head of Ashcourt Rowan Corporate Solutions, working side-by-side with Gaius Jones and Harry Burnham as heads of our financial planning and asset management businesses.’ 

Polin also indicated Ashcourt was on the lookout for more acquisitions.  

‘This is our second acquisition in 12 months and together with the operational changes we have made to our business, we are well-positioned to take further advantage of the growth and consolidation opportunities that are in the sector,’ he said.  

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