May 2018 Review
Updated: May 10, 2019
May was set out to be a turbulent time as Europe was struck with the greatest change to data protection in a generation. On May 25th all organisations within the European Union had to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation that called for an implementation of the appropriate processes in order to improve transparency of client data. Mainly so individuals know who, why, where and how organisations are using and storing their personal data. In short GDPR increases the potential fines organisations have to pay for misuse of data.
More specifically in the Wealth Management sector, Smith & Williamson reiterated their commitment to staying independent after walking away from merger talks with Rathbones last year. Additionally, David Cobb Co-CEO appointed alongside Kevin Stopps has unveiled their 2025 plans and admitted to a potential floatation. They aim to achieve this with a series of acquisitions to strengthen their most prominent divisions i.e. Investment Management, Wealth Management and their Banking division.
M&A opens doors to new clients, new products, investment capabilities and distribution models. Identifying potential targets requires in-depth analysis of your internal strategic strengths, where the gaps lie in your offering and the ability to identify which businesses offer you the best cultural fit. With this in mind, boutique wealth manager GWM Investment Management has acquired a stake in Discretionary Fund Manager, Optimus Capital. Optimus; which is led by Martin Newson, former head of European equities at Credit Suisse will enable GWM to offer a bespoke portfolio management service to its client base.
Other notable acquisitions in May include AFH completing on the acquisition of the advisory arm of law firm Freeths LLP. This now brings their total to 7 completed acquisitions. This opens doors for AFH to work with the affluent clients of Freeths providing them with their range of offerings.
Investment house Dolfin took a significant stake in national IFA Alexander House. Alexander House has been an AR of Old Mutual as part of the Intrinsic Network. This acquisition enables Dolfin to provide investment services to the clients of Alexander House across the nation.