Swedish bank Handelsbanken has gained a foothold in the UK wealth management market with the acquisition of Heartwood.
The agreement, which is subject to regulatory and Heartwood shareholder approval, will see Heartwood become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Handelsbanken.
Handelsbanken identified Heartwood's similar focus on long-term client relationships and high service as motives for the purchase.
Handelsbanken’s UK chief executive Anders Bouvin said in a statement: 'By ensuring Handelsbanken can cater for our customers’ wealth management needs, we hope to strengthen our customer satisfaction and relationships even further.
'We have been aware of Heartwood for some time and have been impressed by its values and people. Like us, they prioritise customer satisfaction over product sales, recognising that long-term relationships are the only basis for a profitable, sustainable service business. They have an excellent, robust approach to wealth and investment management, which we will work together to build on.'
Former Wealth Manager cover star Simon Lough (pictured), who will continue as CEO of Heartwood, added: 'We were encountering Handelsbanken more and more frequently in our work with clients and quickly discovered the very close cultural fit between our organisations.
'The Heartwood team has worked hard to build our business on the recommendation of clients we have served well, so partnership with Handelsbanken, which has grown on a very similar basis, is a very natural progression for our firm.
'It will enable us to make our services available to many new clients and in more ways, whilst retaining the ethos that makes Heartwood stand out to our clients, their advisers and our excellent staff.'