The Importance of Collaboration in M&A

The Importance of Collaboration in M&A

The importance of collaboration in M&A
by Dan Wills | Oct 25, 2023
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Definition; The situation of two or more people working together to create or achieve the same thing: A Common Goal

It is always important to ensure you have the right people alongside you in life and business and, selecting those partners can have a significant impact on your success.

Wealth Holdings are fortunate to work with some excellent firms and individuals who are both acquirers and vendors and we always look to bring together other trusted businesses in a collaboration to bring about a successful outcome for all.

We have for a while been working with Richard Wheeler at Southernhay Financial Planning to help Richard bring about an expansion of his services across the Southwest. We have spent time with Richard understanding exactly what he wants from us, the type of business he is looking to acquire and the type of people he wants to employ. With service and clients at the heart of his business we know who will and won’t be a good fit.

Southernhay Financial Planning is an Advisory Practice primarily covering the Southwest of England. Established in Exeter in 2010, the Practice has grown substantially via a combination of organic growth and mergers and acquisitions activity with a Head Office based in Southernhay, Exeter, the heart of the city’s business and professional district. The clients are a mixture of private individuals and companies who understand that by seeking professional advice they can make the most from their financial planning.  Richard Wheeler, Director, comments that the firm’s success has been based upon three core principles; integrity, professionalism and impartiality, coupled with a creative approach to financial planning and a belief in an independent client service.

Having undertaken seven successful acquisitions in recent years Southernhay are now looking to intensify their focus in this area of the market, looking to use their team’s capability to provide all aspects of financial planning and to provide these services whilst delivering excellent client service.

By understanding how Richard and his team can provide flexible arrangements for retiring financial advisers, excellent opportunities for new planners and support staff, and the huge pride they have in developing a seamless transition and excellent client outcomes we can work towards a common objective. We both only deal with firms and sellers who are like minded and the top priority is obtaining the best outcomes for their clients, some of whom they will have known for many years and, indeed, have become friends. All our joint efforts and Southernhay’s operational functions put the client at the heart of everything we do, employing professional teams of Financial Planners, Paraplanners and Back Office functions to ensure that clients are catered for from the most technical advice piece to simple administrative tasks.

The model for financial services is evolving and Southernhay are at the forefront of this across the Southwest, from the development and use of technology to inter-generational financial planning and the development of the next generation of financial planners. By truly understanding that Southernhay want to offer the retiring adviser community, something different in the current marketplace, an independent, forward thinking advice Practice looking to assist advisers who are looking at their options where their clients will be looked after both now and in the future, we can work in collaboration towards a common goal.

Whilst we at Wealth Holdings can help Richard acquire both assets and businesses, we are not experts in recruiting individuals, and this is where our years in financial services can help. We were able to introduce Richard to Paul Mattock at Oakfield Group. Paul and I have collaborated before with a common interest in helping firms grow and finding the right people to achieve the desired outcome.

Whilst working across the country Paul is at heart a West Country man living in the area, and I was delighted to be able to introduce him to Richard.

In December 2019 after 35 years in Corporate Financial Services Paul launched the Oakfield Group in an overcrowded Recruitment marketplace where firms were simply showing too little respect For Clients and Candidates alike.

With the aim of using his experience and a steely determination to ensure that his offering would be different, he set about building a model where the Company could truly always focus on the Client and Candidate relationship, not relying on poor shotgun job advertising tactics but adopting a bespoke individual and more personal service.

Four years later and the Oakfield team of six hunters are delighting clients and candidates across the UK with an outstanding level of service at all stages of the hiring process. The business continues to go from strength to strength with the vast levels of new client and candidate conversations coming from referral from delighted professionals.

Paul and the team are delivering a bespoke plan for Richard to develop long-standing relationships with both candidate and Southernhay which includes a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to fill roles at all levels including: Advisory, Operations, Compliance, Managerial, Directorship and Administration.

The Oakfield Group of Headhunters provide an unparalleled access to candidates and roles throughout the UK. With coverage across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland they are perfectly placed to proactively support both individual firms and their networks with their knowledge and experience in their market both locally and nationally.

As true Specialists in their field, they look after both their clients and candidates and offer an individual and caring approach making them very distinctive in today’s marketplace.

Richard comments that the next stage of the Southernhay Financial Planning growth plan and journey is to continue to work closely with Wealth Holdings and Oakfield with the objective to further build our advisory and back-office teams in the Southwest with offices planned for Bristol, Truro and Plymouth in 2024. We will expand our centrally managed operational processes with a clear objective of putting our clients and colleagues at the centre of everything we do.

Together we are delivering a coordinated plan. The southwest may be a favourite holiday destination, home to many a TV program and documentary due to its famed villages and costal beauty spots but it also home to over 5.7m people and is responsible for £159billion of England’s GDP. By working in collaboration, we are helping Southernhay deliver a highly modern, professional financial planning service to the wonderful people of the Southwest.

Wealth Holdings would welcome the opportunity to have a non-committal chat to discuss your options around selling, exiting or growing your business.

To find out more, please visit the Wealth Holdings website here.

Keith Brown: CEO of Wealth Holdings

Richard Wheeler: Director at Southernhay Financial Planning Ltd

Paul Mattock: Founding Director at Oakfield Recruitment Ltd

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