Fairstone fully-acquires Zimb Johnson following successful integration

Fairstone, one of the UK’s fastest growing Chartered Financial Planning firms, today announces that Lincolnshire-based Zimb Johnson Bespoke Financial Planning have been fully acquired by the business, the second such deal of 2018. Zimb Johnson first joined Fairstone in 2015 and the purchase highlights the strength of Fairstone’s proprietary downstream buy out (DBO) model in integrating ambitious IFA firms into the group.

The deal brings total fee income of c. £850,000 to Fairstone and funds under management of almost £200m. Four staff will also join the group.

Zimb Johnson Bespoke Financial Planning was founded in 1999 and specialises in providing client-focussed wealth management services to individuals and owner-managers of private companies, as well as advice to trustees, family offices and charities.

In line with Fairstone’s long-term growth strategy, the company has acquired 10 fully-integrated partner firms within their DBO programme across the past 12 months. Fairstone also anticipates acquiring a further 8 firms from the existing DBO proposition over the course of 2018. Due to each acquisition being integrated ahead of the point of purchase this ultimately delivers a seamless transition for both the business and their clients. Importantly, one of Fairstone’s fundamental commitments is that acquired firms will never be forced to increase client charging or reduce client choice in order to offset the costs of the transaction. On average, businesses which have been through Fairstone’s DBO programme have enjoyed 15% annual organic growth, underlining the very real benefits of early integration and the strength of the support which Fairstone can provide.

Leigh Johnson, company principal at Zimb Johnson Bespoke Financial Planning, commented:

“It became clear that increased regulation, compliance and reporting could restrict the time we might otherwise spend with our clients. Through working with Fairstone, we were offered significant support in these areas, combined with state-of-the-art technology and back-office systems.

“This merger is extremely exciting for us and Fairstone’s financial resources will allow us to develop the business and continue to provide high-quality and dedicated advisory services to our clients.”

Lee Hartley, CEO of Fairstone Group, added:

“Bringing such a well-respected business into Fairstone marks an outstanding start to the year and underlines our intent to partner with high-quality firms who share our culture and are determined to grow, with our support. Having made a number of successful acquisitions in 2017 and greatly expanded our DBO programme we look forward to another successful year in 2018.

“Partner firms tell us time and again that early integration makes an enormous difference not just to the business, but also to their clients. The DBO programme ensures that this process takes place before the point of sale, meaning our partners are already enjoying the benefits of our commercial, legal, compliance and customer acquisition support long before the completion of the DBO process. Our IFA businesses can therefore enjoy a premium on purchase due to their enhanced growth and revenue streams.”

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