PE investor acquires independent financial advisor

Nordic Capital, a European private equity investor, has agreed to acquire Ascot Lloyd, an independently-owned independent financial advice (IFA) firm with 17 UK locations – including a base in Leeds.

The transaction will see Nordic Capital acquire Ascot Lloyd from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, LP, alongside the interests of Ares Management Corporation, subject to regulatory approval.

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.

Today, Ascot Lloyd is approaching £10bn 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 UK offices.

Christian Frick, partner and head of financial services, Nordic Capital Advisors, said: “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.

“We look forward to working 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.”

Nigel Stockton, CEO of Ascot Lloyd, added: “Our acquisition by Nordic Capital is testament to the strength of Ascot Lloyd today and the significant opportunities we have ahead of us.

“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.”

DLA Piper advised the management team of Ascot Lloyd in relation to the acquisition. The DLA Piper team was led by partner Tim Wright (corporate, London) and Ben Collins (senior associate, Leeds).

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.