Rathbone Brothers, one of the largest wealth managers in the UK, is to acquire financial planning business Saunderson House for £150m to create one of the largest high-net worth financial planning businesses in the UK.
The deal, subject to approval by the FCA and is expected to complete in the third quarter of 2021, will bring together over 80 certified advisers with combined advised assets of £8.3bn.
The wealth manager will pay an initial cash and share consideration of £135m, funded from internal resources and a proposed £50m share placing. Deferred compensation of £14.9m, comprised of £10.9m in cash and £4m in shares, will be paid on the first anniversary of completion.
Saunderson House is a high-quality business with a strong desire to deliver leading wealth management services to clients over the long term, and it will add both scale and capability to Rathbones."
Paul Stockton, CEO of Rathbones said: "Saunderson House is a high-quality business with a strong desire to deliver leading wealth management services to clients over the long term, and it will add both scale and capability to Rathbones. Commonly shared values, and a resolute focus on delivering quality client outcomes, provide a firm foundation from which to take advantage of some exciting growth opportunities. I very much look forward to welcoming everyone at Saunderson House to Rathbones Group as we work to exceed our ambitions together."
Tony Overy, CEO of Saunderson House, said: "Over the course of extensive recent engagement between Saunderson House and Rathbones, it became clear to us that there is a high level of cultural alignment between our two businesses; both have been built on serving clients to the highest standards and building enduring relationships based on trust and integrity. By doing this over many years we have built a high-quality business with very loyal and satisfied clients.
He added: "I am absolutely delighted with our decision to partner with Rathbones which I believe will allow us to continue doing exactly this, with access to Rathbones' significant additional investment management capability and market-leading investment process. This transaction provides long-term ownership stability for Saunderson House to enable us to continue to focus on providing our high level of client service, developing and enhancing our proposition, and providing an excellent environment for our people as part of a well-respected and well capitalised group."
Saunderson House said its experience of providing complex financial planning solutions to high net worth individuals will complement and strengthen Rathbones' existing financial planning capability and enhance its ability to offer a more holistic wealth management proposition to clients where appropriate.
It further added that it expected to benefit from access to the strength and depth of Rathbones' investment capability, with clients benefitting from an enhanced investment management proposition that will include the expertise and wider range of investment management solutions available from across Rathbones' core private client and funds operations, supporting growth and positive client outcomes.
Owen Wilson, Partner at Epiris said: "When we bought Saunderson House, it was somewhat buried in a conglomerate. Separating it into an independent entity has brought focus and clarity to the business which in turn has unlocked its potential. This latest transaction represents a tremendous opportunity for Rathbones and Saunderson House to grow together, and we wish Tony and his team every success in this next stage of the company's story."
The acquisition is subject to approval by the FCA and is expected to complete in the third quarter of 2021.
Saunderson House is being advised by Fenchurch Advisory Partners and Macfarlanes and the Saunderson House management team is being advised by Eversheds Sutherland.