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2017 - the year in M&A
05/01/2018 , News Team

A trend of the past years in the UK’s wealth management and private banking sector has been high levels of mergers and acquisitions. 2017 was no different. Here we look back at some of the most noteworthy deals that took place…

Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management in the UK & Europe (CGWM (UK)) acquired Hargreave Hale. Combined the two business will have over £18 billion in private client assets and over £4.7 billion in fund management assets across UK and Europe. According to Canaccord Genuity, the senior management of Hargreave Hale will continue to have significant involvement and influence, holding leadership roles within the enlarged group and will be responsible for driving the growth and development of the investment and wealth management business. The acquisition is expected to be completed before the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2018.

Thesis Asset Management underwent a management buy out. The management team, along with other investors including a family office, formed a consortium for the purpose of the deal. Stated reasons for the deal included “pressures on the financial performance” and “decreasing operating profit margins over the last five years” at Thesis.

2017 also saw Thesis Asset Management become an acquirer when,  after the MBO, it acquired Bath-based discretionary investment manager Cambridge Fund Managers.  This was the first in a new acquisition strategy for the firm.

European Wealth acquired US-based broker-dealer firm Newbridge Securities Corporation and its affiliate, Newbridge Financial Services Group, a registered investment adviser. The acquisition is expected to close in late 2017 or early 2018, subject to US FINRA approval. As a result of the deal, and the increased global reach it gives the firm, European Wealth is to rebrand as Kingswood.

Davy Private Clients UK, the UK subsidiary of  Ireland's J&E Davy, acquired Danske Bank’s discretionary portfolio management wealth business for an undisclosed sum, which involved transfer of the management of more than 1,100 Danske Bank customer investment portfolios. The agreement meant Davy became Danske Bank’s preferred referral partner for private banking customers seeking options to invest over £150,000.

And finally, the one that got away...

Perhaps the most talked about deal of the year was one that did not happen. It was announced that Rathbones was in talks to acquire Smith & Williamson. However, soon after the talks ended without a deal being reached.

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