A new nationwide independent financial advice and fund management firm has launched with the acquisition of two advisory firms – Charter Financial Planning and Rice Whatmough Crozier.
One Four Nine begins with seven advisers with 700 clients, and around £300m in assets under management (AUM).
Charter Financial Planning has a 40-year history offering a comprehensive suite of financial planning services to clients in Preston and the North-West area.
The business has three experienced advisers and eight support staff with £100m in AUM.
Rice Whatmough Crozier is an investment and pensions advisory firm based in Middleton, Greater Manchester.
It was established in 2010 following a management buyout from the professional services firm Deloitte.
It has four senior advisers and seven support staff and manages £200m in AUM.
The inaugural acquisitions are the first step in an ambitious growth plan, which will be backed by significant investment from private equity firm Copper Street Capital.
One Four Nine is in talks with other advisory firms and expects to make further acquisitions soon.
Chief executive Matthew Bugden told Money Marketing at least one would be announced before Christmas.
The group will primarily target accountancy firms and other professional services firms which own or have a joint venture with financial advice firms.
It will also consider standalone advisory firms which reflect its “collaborative, innovative and professional values”.
This includes advice firms either already or wanting to become experienced in recommending tax efficient alternative investments.
The company will also offer a central investment proposition to advisers and their clients as soon as they come on board.
Why One Four Nine?
When first coming up with ideas for the company, chief executive Matthew Bugden was in a meeting with one of the executives of one of the national advice businesses during the early stages of development of the company.
He decided he needed something to call the business during its development stage, at least.
He glanced down at his watch and noticed that the date was 14 September – which also happened to be his late mother’s birthday.
Hence, for the purposes of the discussions, they started to call the business ‘One Four Nine’.
When it came to incorporating the business, Bugden could not get away from the name One Four Nine, so that is what he decided the real name should be.
The group is now One Four Nine Group, which comprises One Four Nine Portfolio Management and One Four Nine Wealth – the vehicle which will hold the acquired advisers.
One Four Nine Portfolio Management is the group’s in-house discretionary fund management proposition.
It will offer competitively priced active, passive and sustainable model portfolio solutions for clients.
The firm is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and is already managing client assets.
As well as Bugden, One Four Nine’s senior leadership team is made up of: Gabrielle Beaumont, managing director; Bevan Blair, chief investment officer; Shaun O’Leary, chief risk officer; Steve Cohen, finance director.
Commenting on the launch, Bugden said: “We are keenly aware of the challenges facing advisers today in a market that has become increasingly fragmented.
He said with regulatory and administrative burdens “progressively taking up ever greater resources”, One Four Nine Group will offer quality advisory firms the opportunity to have access to a central investment proposition.
The firm will also provide extensive support to help reduce the “administrative and regulatory burden” on advisers.
“Our management team has collectively spent decades building extensive relationships within the adviser industry, giving us a unique insight into the firms we are looking to connect with,” he said.
“As 15% of advisers are expecting to sell in the next five years, we have a strong pipeline of exceptional advisory firms across the UK.
“We have built an entrepreneurial business with a dynamic and collegiate culture which will make us the natural partner of choice for quality advisory firms.”
Bugden told Money Marketing One Four Nine is not currently interested in buying businesses from retiring advisers.
The company, instead, wants to focus on building partnerships with advisers who wish to remain within their businesses.
Discussions about launching the company have been going on since long before Covid, he said.
Although the pandemic slowed down the process of launching the company, it also gave the founders an opportunity to finetune the proposition for advisers and their support teams.