PRIVATE equity owned wealth manager Quilter yesterday confirmed it had bought investment firm Cheviot Asset Management to create one of the biggest independently owned wealth managers in the UK.
Quilter, owned by mid market European private equity firm Bridgepoint, will acquire Cheviot using cash provided by Bridgepoint. The amount paid for the firm was not disclosed.
The tie-up will lead to the creation of a new company, Quilter Cheviot, with £12.3bn of assets under management – putting it in the top three independently owned wealth managers in the country.
The sale is a success story for Cheviot founder and chief executive Michael Kerr-Dineen, who set up the firm in 2006 after poaching 92 staff from investment bank UBS.
Kerr-Dineen will act as an adviser to the new firm. Quilter’s current chief executive Martin Baines will take the reins at the enlarged group.
“It’s not being done for defensive purposes,” Kerr-Dineen told City A.M. “There’s a huge gap in the market between the big banks, which are riddled with conflicts, and the old fashioned client broking model, which is dead.
“The modern client is savvy. It’s all very well going on personal relationships, which we are good at but you’re basically here to make clients money and preserve their capital.”
Quilter Cheviot will have 13 offices across the UK, Ireland and Jersey with 524 staff in total.
Leading a consortium of advisers was Ian Bagshaw from law firm Linklaters. Bagshaw is co-head of the private equity sector and has some worked with private equity financiers on some of the biggest deals.
Bagshaw, who advises on every kind of leveraged merger and acquisition as well as offering restructuring advice to private equity houses, worked with Quilter on this deal. He was made partner at Linklaters in 2007 having been a partner at Clifford Chance for three years previously. Bagshaw has a long standing relationship with Quilter, having originally advised on the original acquisition of Quilter by Bridgepoint from Morgan Stanley.
He also advised on Triton’s sale of Bravida to recent US presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s old firm Bain Capital as well as Triton’s $1.1bn acquisition of Ambea from private equity firm 3i.
Bagshaw also worked with private equity colossus The Carlyle Group on its acquisition of a majority stake in ADP from Palamon as well as well as China Investment Corporation’s minority investment in Apax Partners. Elsewhere on the deal, PwC provided additional financial and tax due diligence advice to Quilter and Bridgepoint, while Deloitte offered advice to Cheviot.