Standard Life’s 1825 acquires Cumberland Place

Standard Life’s 1825 acquires Cumberland Place

Standard Life’s financial planning consultancy 1825 is to add about £400m in assets under advice (AUA) with the acquisition of London advisory experts Cumberland Place Financial Management, it has announced in a statement.

The deal, which has come for an undisclosed amount, will boost 1825’s portfolio by about 10% of AUA, while growing its workforce by a similar amount.

Cumberland Place has 21 employees, of whom six are financial planners (with a further three paraplanners) as against 1825’s existing 75 planners around the UK in nine locations, chiefly in the North and Scotland.

Cumberland Place’s two directors, Tony Moss and Robert Goldschmidt, will stay on to continue to run the business post-completion.

The acquisition is 1825’s sixth since it was founded in 2015, and its second in London.

It fits with the strategy of developing “regional hubs” that will see it extend its penetration across the UK.

In October last year, 1825 acquired Bristol-based advisers Fraser Heath Financial Management, thereby creating a hub for the West and Southwest of England, in addition to its Reading office.

That deal added a slightly smaller amount in AUA as the Cumberland Place acquisition, a reported £352m.

1825 chief executive Julie Scott, pictured above, has been in place since September of last year when then-head Steve Murray took up a new role as commercial and strategy managing director at parent company Standard Life, while also filling the newly created post of 1825 chairman.

Scott had until then been chief operating officer.

Michael Wall also joined 1825 from Old Mutual Wealth at the same time to head up 1825’s business development.

Scott could not be reached by International Investment but said in a statement that Cumberland Place Financial Management was a “fantastic addition to the team”.

A good fit, with shared values

She added that she felt that it would be a good fit, paying tribute to the “strong connection” that the two firms had on the basis that both outfits are “passionate about the client and doing the right thing”.

Obliquely referring to 1825’s expansionist ambitions, Scott added: “As the demand for financial advice continues to grow in the UK we want to be able to offer the best service and proposition possible with a great set of experts to support them.”

For Cumberland Place, Moss said that he and his colleagues had built a strong business over 15 years by “putting the client at the forefront of everything we do”.

“1825 share these values,” he said, which gave him confidence that the acquisition would be a “tremendous success” that allowed Cumberland Place “to build on our existing foundations and provide additional resource and expertise to our clients”.

“We are delighted to become part of 1825 which will provide our clients with a fantastic service proposition as well as enhanced career opportunities for our employees,” Moss concluded.

The transaction is expected to complete in the first half of 2018 subject to certain conditions being satisfied, including receipt of regulatory approvals.