CHASE de Vere, the independent financial adviser led by Scot Stephen Kavanagh, has revealed that it is closing in on two acquisitions as it continues to grow its book north of the Border.

Mr Kavanagh, who set up the adviser’s Scottish operation when it traded as Thomson’s Financial Planning 21 years ago, said talks are at an advanced stage on the two deals, which should be finalised in the coming months.

The firm’s expansion comes as it benefits from its status as a truly independent financial adviser following the advent of the Retail Distribution Review in 2013. Some players in the market have decided to offer a restricted range of products since the change.

The deals now being pursued come after the firm acquired Medical Money Management (MMM) in October. MMM, whose client base included doctors and dentists, had a national footprint thanks to its eight-strong office network. Five of those, including one in Glasgow’s Charing Cross, have now closed and been subsumed into the Chase de Vere office network but three have been retained, taking the office tally to 16.

Mr Kavanagh said the acquisition builds on the firm’s affinity partnership with the British Medical Association, noting that MMM had been keen to join forces because of Chase de Vere’s commitment to independence.

“There was a real synergy for us and it’s working out well so far, because there is a lot of commonality between the businesses,” Mr Kavanagh said.

“They had a number of approaches from a number of concerns, but a lot of them were on a restricted proposition. One of the things they said, which we go on about time and time again, is [that] if you are going to put the client at the front of what you do, it has to be independent. We were quite taken with that approach. They were banging that drum throughout 2017 before we acquired them.”

Mr Kavanagh, who runs Chase de Vere from Glasgow, said one of the new takeover targets has a turnover and staffing level 50 per cent greater than MMM. “They are very keen to join us [and] approached us cold,” he said. “Again, it was the independence piece – they had been approached by a number of restricted outfits.

“There is a lot of similarities with Medical Money Management in terms of why they want to come and talk to Chase de Vere. We’re delighted about it.”

Mr Kavanagh, who became chief executive in 2010, added: “We’re getting more approaches from the market generally, and I think it’s because Standard Life want to acquire businesses for their 1825 restricted proposition [business]. St James’s Place will buy anything and everything. It’s refreshing for people in the marketplace to be able to come somewhere clients are at the centre of what we do.

“I wasn’t 100% sold on the independence thing a few years ago, now I couldn’t be more sold on it.”

Away from acquisitions, Chase de Vere last month sealed an affinity partnership with the Chartered Institute of Building, allowing it to offer advice to a body which has 34,000 members in the UK.

Observing that Chase de Vere is now the UK’s largest remaining firm of independent financial advisers, he said it has retained its independence despite being ultimately owned by Swiss Life, which sells its own products in Europe. “They are a spectacular parent company,” he said. “They have never once tried to ram products down our throats. And they have owned us for eight or nine years. Long may that continue.”

Of the 200 advisers Chase de Vere currently has in the UK, 25 are based in Glasgow, where it also has 20 administrative staff. The Glasgow office turns over just under £5.5 million.