Nordic Capital, a leading European private equity investor, has signed an agreement to acquire Ascot Lloyd, one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing independently-owned independent financial advice (IFA) firms.
The transaction will see Nordic Capital acquire Ascot Lloyd (the “Company”) from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (“Oaktree”), alongside the interests of Ares Management Corporation (“Ares”), subject to regulatory approval.
With a deep understanding of the financial advice and wealth management market, Nordic Capital will partner with Ascot Lloyd’s management to support the Company’s client offering including through further developing its digital proposition, accelerating organic and inorganic growth and further increasing its focus on sustainable savings.
Oaktree has invested in the business since 2013 and acquired Ascot Lloyd in 2017. The business has seen considerable growth and has become one of the leading independently-owned IFA firms in the UK. Today, Ascot Lloyd is approaching £10 billion in funds under influence and provides financial planning, wealth management and corporate benefit solutions to more than 20,000 core clients. It has over 500 staff across its 17 UK locations.
Wealth services is a business with growth potential across the UK, underpinned by factors including an increased focus on savings and the rising demand for personalised advice. Nordic Capital will enable Ascot Lloyd to accelerate its growth trajectory through investing in its service proposition as well as further acquisitive growth.
Christian Frick, Partner and Head of Financial Services, Nordic Capital Advisors, commented: “Nordic Capital is delighted to be acquiring Ascot Lloyd to support its future growth. Nordic Capital has a strong track record within the Financial Services sector and, together with the Company and its high-quality team, will further develop Ascot Lloyd’s client offering and investment management proposition.
“Nigel and his team have built an outstanding business with a multi-year track-record of delivering high quality growth and Ascot Lloyd’s strong brand, client centric culture and proven ability to deliver organic and inorganic growth makes it enviably positioned. Nordic Capital looks forward to working in partnership with the business to build on its success and continue the exciting trajectory it is on.”
Federico Alvarez-Demalde, Managing Director with Oaktree Capital Management, said: “Ascot Lloyd has grown to become one of the UK’s leading independently-owned IFA firms. Since appointed to lead the investment by the end of 2016, the company has tripled AUM and more than quadrupled revenues, with over 80 acquisitions executed to date.
“In Nordic Capital we are pleased to have found the right partner and investor for the next stage of Ascot Lloyd’s growth. We wish Nigel and the whole team the very best as they continue to develop this fantastic company.”
Nigel Stockton, CEO of Ascot Lloyd, said: “Our acquisition by Nordic Capital is testament to the strength of Ascot Lloyd today and the significant opportunities we have ahead of us. Fundamentally, this is underpinned by the quality of our people and their commitment to offering the best possible service and advice to our clients. We found a great partner in Oaktree, and more recently Ares, who helped us build a great business.
“We are now thrilled about the opportunity to work with Nordic Capital, whose partnership approach will continue to see our people and our culture at the heart of our success. Their investment, supported by deep expertise in financial services, will give us substantial new firepower to accelerate our growth, enabling us to increase the ambition of our acquisition strategy and further invest in people and technology to support our organic growth. I look forward to working with Nordic Capital.”
Houlihan Lokey acted as sole financial advisor to Oaktree and Ascot Lloyd. Proskauer Rose acted as legal advisor to Oaktree. Nordic Capital was advised in the process by, among others, Fenchurch Advisory, Kirkland & Ellis and Alvarez & Marsal.
The transaction will be made by Nordic Capital X and the terms of the transaction are not disclosed.