Rathbones in talks over £2bn merger with Smith & Williamson

Merge-Mergers-700.jpgRathbones could merge with investment company Smith & Williamson as the pair confirms it is in talks over a potential £2bn deal.

Exclusive discussions are taking place with a view to an all-share merger, the Times reports.

Rathbones told the paper: “Whilst these discussions have been underway for some time and the boards of both Rathbones and Smith & Williamson are confident that the combination would bring meaningful benefits for the stakeholders of both businesses, discussions are ongoing and there can be no certainty any transaction will be agreed.”

Rathbones has been expanding its services for several years, including by buying IFA network Vision Independent Financial Planning in an £18m deal in 2015, following on the back of deals to buy the private client businesses of both Jupiter and Tilney a year earlier.

The wealth manager’s latest results said it planned to take on roughly 40 more advisers, taking its total to 150.

The merger with Smith & Williamson would add accountancy and tax services to the execution-only offering the firm announced it would launch earlier this year.