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Kingswood acquires WFI Financial

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Kingswood Holdings Limited, an integrated wealth management group, has acquired the business and assets of WFI Financial (WFI), an independent regional financial planning business based in Sheffield.

The acquisition, which continues Kingswood’s expansion of its national wealth management footprint to the Midlands and the North, is expected to be immediately earnings-accretive to the Group.

Kingswood has exchanged contracts to acquire the WFI book of business for a maximum cash consideration of GBP14.0 million, which will be payable over a 30-month period; GBP3.5m will be payable at closing of the Acquisition – which is expected to take place at the end of September 2019 – and the balance on a deferred basis subject to WFI meeting pre-agreed asset migration, recurring revenue and EBITDA hurdles over a 30 month period, with the final deferred payment due in February 2022. In the most recent financial year to 30 June 2019, the WFI business generated EBITDA in the order of GBP1.8 million.

Based in Sheffield, WFI is a major regional independent financial planning business, with other offices in Derby, Lincoln and Grimsby. WFI has in excess of GBP550m AUM/AUA from over 970 family clients and has 37 partners and employees, including 16 financial planners and 19 support staff. WFI has enjoyed a successful track record of profitability and growth through an expanded advisory platform, a Centralised Investment Proposition, the acquisition of client banks from retiring IFAs and the implementation of a lean but efficient operating structure. Upon Completion, the Group will have c 5,500 active clients and AUM/AUA of cGBP2.5 billion.

Gary Wilder, Group CEO at Kingswood, says: “The acquisition of WFI doubles the size of our wealth planning business and provides Kingswood with an opportunity to own a very profitable regional financial planning business with built-in expertise and capacity to expand. Both principals, Charlie Gillespie and Mark Rendall, are exceptional individuals with great track records in the industry and they will remain with the Group post integration and assume expanded roles on the Kingswood platform. They, along with their excellent team, will continue to focus on their core strengths of client advice and business development, with Kingswood centrally managing regulatory & compliance, finance, HR and IT responsibilities. There is also a major opportunity to migrate existing and new clients across to Kingwood’s DFM platform, especially onto our recently re-launched Managed Portfolio Service (‘MPS’) offering, underpinning the value of a fully integrated wealth management business.”

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