Foreign fund firms plan swoop for British IFAs

Non-UK-domiciled fund managers are looking to buy up to 15% of IFA firms in Britain, says Allium Capital.

Ronan Kearney, the managing director, expects a number of buyouts will be announced this year. He says American fund firms are particularly interested in breaking into the British distribution market.

Kearney says: “The UK is the most competitive and advanced market in the EU and it is extremely difficult to break into. If small firms start getting amalgamated and bought out by non-UK fund managers, it would be any easy way to access the UK market.

“If it brought in even some of the professionalism of the US guys that would not be a bad thing. It would shake up service standards in the UK.” (article continues below)

Martin Bamford, the managing director of Informed Choice, says he is aware of some IFA companies selling a minority stake in their businesses to US or Australian fund managers.

He says: “This is very good news in terms of professionalism as some of the foreign markets, especially the US, are more advanced in this area. Foreign input would be valuable to the UK market.”