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Forward thinking partnership for fast-growing Fairstone

Forward thinking partnership for fast-growing Fairstone

Long-standing Muckle client Fairstone Group Limited is one of the U.K.’s fastest-growing wealth management businesses with 650+ staff looking after 70,000 clients from over 40 locations across the U.K. The firm currently oversees £13bn of client assets.
Over 40 acquisitions in 5 years
380+ professional advisers
£13bn funds under management
Forward thinking partnership for fast-growing Fairstone
Forward thinking partnership for fast-growing Fairstone

The challenge

Fairstone was launched in 2008 as a “new model” financial services business. Since then, through a series of acquisitions and investments, it has grown to become one of the U.K.’s largest Chartered Financial Planning firms.

In 2012, we helped Fairstone design its market-leading Downstream Buy-Out (DBO) acquisition programme. Through this programme, Fairstone partners with the owners of ambitious wealth management businesses, works with those owners to help them grow their businesses and then acquires the businesses at an agreed point in the future. This is an innovative approach that allows integration prior to the point of acquisition to help increase value and minimise risk when the business is ultimately acquired.

The solution

The DBO acquisition programme has been hugely successful, and we have worked with Fairstone to acquire over 40 wealth management businesses through it. We also acted for Fairstone in 2016 when it received a £25m private equity investment from Synova Capital.

2021 marked a milestone in progression for Fairstone as it completed a market-leading transaction with global private equity house T.A. Associates. The deal was pivotal in enabling Fairstone to continue and expand its DBO acquisition programme.

We have continued to act for Fairstone on its DBO acquisition programme, advising on a further eight acquisitions in 2021 and more in 2022. We advise on all legal aspects of those transactions, including due diligence, drafting the Share Purchase Agreement, real estate matters, employment aspects and project managing the transactions to completion.

The impact

These acquisitions are significant for Fairstone and have helped it become one of the UK’s largest Chartered Financial Planning firms. Two of the acquisitions in 2021 were Fairstone’s first acquisitions in Northern Ireland and there was a further acquisition in Scotland, extending Fairstone’s business in Scotland.

Having a legal adviser on our doorstep, skilled and experienced enough to support our rapid growth, has been invaluable. Muckle’s range of expertise and responsiveness continues to help us achieve our ambitions. They are a key part of the Fairstone team.

Lee Hartley
CEO of Fairstone Group
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