Biggest deal to date

1825 confirms Grant Thornton wealth acquisition

Julie Scott

Julie Scott: ‘well placed’ (pic: Terry Murden)


1825, Standard Life’s wholly owned financial planning and advice business, has confirmed that it is acquiring the wealth advisory unit of Grant Thornton UK.

The unit has more than 100 employees, including 34 financial planners joining the business. 1825 described the move, which was forecast by Daily Business earlier this month, as a significant step forward in its ambitions as an advice provider. 

It is the eighth and largest 1825 acquisition to date, increasing assets under advice to £5.8bn – up £1.7bn, an increase of over 40%.

Grant Thornton’s wealth advisory team, led by Neil Messenger, provides advice on all aspects of financial planning including family and business finance. As well as the UK-wide financial planning team, it has two client support centres in Belfast and Sheffield.

Julie Scott, CEO 1825, said: “Today’s announcement significantly accelerates 1825’s growth plans and gives us a broader UK-wide presence. Demand for high quality financial planning and advice continues to grow and with over 110 financial planners we will be well-placed to help more people access advice.


1825 ragout

Daily Business anticipated the deal earlier this month


“I was delighted when Grant Thornton approached us with the idea.  We are very much aligned with our shared desire to offer the best quality advice to our clients.  We are excited about the future and look forward to welcoming the team to 1825.” 

Dave Dunckley, CEO of Grant Thornton UK, commented: “As we increase our focus on our strategy to provide high quality audit, tax and advisory services to our core markets, it is clear the wealth advisory team’s growth potential would be best delivered by a business focused solely on the financial advice market.

“The team’s clients will undoubtedly be better served through 1825’s approach and proposition, with the businesses sharing a natural alignment in values and goals, so it makes practical sense for the team to be in an environment in which it can flourish. We wish Neil and the team continued success into the future.”

The deal is expected to complete in Q4, 2019. The commercial terms of the transaction remain undisclosed.

1825’s acquisitions to date:

  • North East (Pearson Jones – May 2015)
  • Scotland (Munro Partnership – July 2016)
  • London (Baigrie Davies – Aug 2016)
  • North West (Jones Sheridan – Nov 2016)
  • South West (Fraser Heath – March 2018)
  • London (Cumberland Place April – 2018)
  • BDO Northern Ireland Wealth Management Arm (Announced 1 March 2019)


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