M&G adds Continuum to advice offering
M&G, the savings and investments business, is acquiring Continuum (Financial Services) as a further step towards expanding its role in the advice market.
Subject to regulatory approval, M&G will take an initial 49.9% stake in the southwest England adviser this year with an agreement to acquire the remainder over the following two years. The purchase price is undisclosed.
Launched in 2014 by founding partner Martin Brown, Plymouth-headquartered Continuum has more than 60 independent financial advisers operating nationally through its brand.
It has particularly strong links across the UK’s accountancy profession and a fast-growing in-house discretionary model portfolio service (My Continuum Wealth), currently managed by Marlborough Investments, which will be mandated to M&G Wealth Investments post completion.
Continuum has assets under influence in excess of £1.5 billion and over 12,000 clients. The business has experienced strong growth throughout, in particular over the past three years of pandemic and market turbulence during which time revenue and assets have both grown in excess of 25% on a compound annual basis.
M&G Wealth, which operates much of its business in Edinburgh and Stirling, was formed in September 2020 with the expressed ambition to help close the growing advice gap by increasing its scale.
It aims to grow its number of advisers to around 1,000 over the next four to five years to open up financial advice to as many clients as possible. Following the acquisition of Continuum, M&G Wealth’s total number of advisers across its hybrid, restricted and independent businesses will be around 500.
David Montgomery, Scotland-based managing director of M&G Wealth, said: “This was an unmissable opportunity to partner with another fast-growing, top quality independent financial advice business.
“Continuum has highly experienced leadership and advice teams and has demonstrated a clearly defined strategy to deliver comprehensive solutions to their clients. We are excited to be able to support their strong ongoing growth plans.
“We want our advice services to be accessible to everyone which is core to the Continuum philosophy. This is vital for the financial services industry as we collectively seek to address the advice gap.
“Financial advice should not be just for the wealthy – it must be trusted, welcoming, unintimidating and should seek to deliver best outcomes and experiences for clients no matter their circumstances.
“Continuum has an outstanding brand reputation within the market and has a firm commitment to sustainable investment and working practices. Overall, it’s a great cultural fit with our existing advice businesses.”
Martin Brown, managing partner at Continuum, said: “Through market opportunities created by the lack of distribution, an increasing demand for high quality financial advice and changes driven by the pandemic, we extensively reviewed our strategic options to best increase our scale and deliver to this need.
“This development enables us to continue to accelerate the growth of our business sustainably, increase our national footprint of high-quality individuals and enhance our offering to clients and advisers. Ultimately, this allows us to deliver a greater reach to fulfil the growing advice need in the market.
“Importantly this ensures Continuum will progress its long-term ambitions of becoming a household brand and importantly a ‘home for life’ for clients, advisers, staff and future generations to come.
“This is a stand-out option for our business at this stage of our development.”