Wealth Manager - the site for professional investment managers

Register for full access to Citywire’s Fund Manager database, news and analysis. Registration is free and only takes a minute.

WH Ireland sets £5 billion AuM target

WH Ireland sets £5 billion AuM target

WH Ireland hopes to become the largest corporate broking firm on AIM and has a target of £5 billion in assets under management, chief executive Paul Compton has said.

Speaking to Wealth Manager in the wake of the company’s 2011 full year results – which showed a swing back to adjusted pre-tax profit of £2.2 million from a £4 million loss in 2008 – Compton said he had sought to move the business away from what have become ‘difficult’ areas for brokerage firms.

‘We are almost too small,’ he said. ‘I think we need to at least double the wealth management side to get to the scale where we can cope with all the compliance and all the regulation.’

The company currently manages £1.4 billion in private client assets.

The acquisition of the 8,000 strong client book from embattled stockbrokers Pritchard will go some way towards the goal for assets, and Compton said on the face of it, the deal looked like a bargain.

The acquisition saw WH Ireland's office count double with the group also planning to open an office in Lymington in Hampshire.

‘A couple of deals have recently gone through for 2% of funds under management. Pritchard has £400 million so you would have expected to pay £8 million and we paid £0.5 million,’ he said, adding he hoped to keep the bulk of the clients on board.

‘We are not going to lose half of them,’ he said. ‘I think if we can hang on to three-quarters of them – so £300 or £400 million – that would be great. You’d expect to pay £6 million for that and we paid £0.5 million. So whichever way you look at it, I think we paid a tenth of the price.’

Against the background of increasing regulation, Compton expects ‘half to three-quarters of small businesses in this industry will effectively go out of business fairly quickly’.

‘I think it’s going to be that big, because they just can’t cope with the regulation,’ he said. WH Ireland would be interested in acquisitions, although Compton said the increase of the firm’s cash balances to £7.4 million from last year’s £2.4 million was partly a safety net and not an acquisition war chest.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Citywire TV
Play Investment Pulse: the highs and lows of 2014

Investment Pulse: the highs and lows of 2014

This week's Investment Pulse looks back at some of the biggest stories of the year as well as looking forward to 2015.

Play Inside ETFs: Why the US bull-run still has legs

Inside ETFs: Why the US bull-run still has legs

Global equities suffered a sharp sell-off in the third quarter but exchange traded fund investors are continuing to back the US to outperform in 2015

Play Paul Niven: I won't rip up the Foreign & Colonial Trust history book

Paul Niven: I won't rip up the Foreign & Colonial Trust history book

The newly appointed manager of the Foreign & Colonial trust talks about his plans for UK's oldest investment company.

Your Business: Cover Star Club

Manchester wealth firm hires Coutts director for London launch

Manchester wealth firm hires Coutts director for London launch

Former Coutts director Tony Robinson has joined Chartered Wealth Management to head the company’s newly opened London office.

Wealth Manager on Twitter