Schroders’ Benchmark Capital arm is to acquire 32-adviser, £755m AUM Swindon-based Unique Financial Planning.
The deal is for an undisclosed sum.
Benchmark has acquired several Financial Planning firms in recent times and supports more than 1,000 financial advisers with platform assets of over £18bn.
In November Benchmark acquired a 49% stake in West Midlands-based Chartered Financial Planning firm Chartered Independent. It also completed the 100% acquisition of Milton Keynes-based IFA Advison under the firm’s buy-out programme.
In March it bought Chartered Financial Planners Kennedy Independent Financial Advice (KFA) in Derry to expand its presence in Northern Ireland.
Unique has 32 advisers and £755m in client assets under advice. It has five offices across the South of England and headquarters in Swindon.
Unique will join Benchmark’s network but will continue to operate independently, Benchmark said. Unique will receive support from Benchmark’s technology and training and development, alongside additional group resources in marketing, finance, people management and compliance services.
In June Benchmark announced that it had hired former Sandringham Partners chief executive Tim Sargisson as the new managing director of its Financial Planning arm.
Stewart Williams, CEO of Unique Financial Planning said: “We had many options when looking for a partner, but we were clear we wanted to work with someone who would invest in the business and support our vision for growth. It was also vital to provide security for our staff, our advisers and most importantly our clients, as well as a well-thought-out succession plan for the directors.
“Benchmark’s technology and support really stood out for us. Their long-term commitment to Financial Pplanning and focus on client outcomes was different to anything else we saw in the market.”
Ed Dymott, managing director wealth at Benchmark, said: “Unique have built their practice over the last 30 years and have established themselves as one of the most trusted businesses in their regions. The management team have been focussed on how they can achieve the next phase of their growth and find a partner who can support their clients for the next 30 years and beyond.
“We are delighted they have chosen to partner with Benchmark, and see strong alignment with our client focus, technology enablement and long-term outlook. We know that Unique, like many of the new advisers we are attracting, see significant benefits in our strategy, continued investment, and capital strength, with a focus on quality and independence.
“We’ve made a number of selective acquisitions over the last few years, and we continue to support over 175 advice firms. Unique will be 1 of over 25 firms joining us this year.”