Has it worked out? ‘Yes, all of the boxes have been ticked. The deal has taken risk off the table and day to day office management. We now have more time to deal with our clients and focus on growing our business, with the eventual aim of a secondary Practice buy-out in the future when we finally decide to retire.’
Mulberry IFA was established in 2000 by brothers Matthew and Simon Allen. Based in Twickenham, we ran a Chartered Financial Planning business, offering quality advice to our long-standing clients. Sarah Pearson bought into the business in 2015.
With three company Directors of varying ages, it became apparent that there was a need to consider succession planning for the business. In addition, we were spending an increasing amount of time on regulation, compliance and trying to grow the business.
We didn’t have any experience of selling a business. We were being bombarded with emails from brokers and one example that landed on the desk looked very much like our business and gave us the idea of the sort of deal that we could expect.
We met with AFH and Alan kept inviting us back. It was important to retain our loyal staff and have a seamless continuation of service and added value for our clients, gradually stepping back over time.
The bottom line was that AFH was profitable and most importantly, it was Independent. We were approached by larger companies but liked the size of AFH and its experience of being well versed at buying companies and having an experienced acquisition team on hand to help navigate the due diligence process. A lot of information was required during the DD process, but overall we were very impressed with Claire Spillane and her team, the process was excellent.
Alan was trustworthy and we had a good feeling we knew what we were doing. Other acquirers were potentially paying more, but we weren’t sure that we could trust them as much. The deal offered by Alan was realistic, others might have been talking potentially larger numbers, but also have huge targets! There were elements of the deal that needed clarification but at every stage, discussions have been fair and reasonable, which we feel is key to the ongoing relationship.
Dealing with likeminded individuals and a similar ‘clients first’ ethos made the partnership and ongoing relationship with AFH work for the three of us, our staff and the clients. Being with AFH through the very difficult times during 2020 has been an advantage.