By Kristy Dorsey

London-based Independent Wealth Planners (IWP) has acquired Scotland’s AGL Wealth Management for an undisclosed sum in its first move north of the Border.

Set up last year, IWP provides operational and support services such as compliance, IT, investment research, marketing, recruitment and training to its growing network of independent financial advisors (IFAs) throughout the UK. The aim is to assist with the managerial and administrative burdens of running a regulated firm.

AGL has offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh and was founded in 2009 by Craig Gibson, who was a founding member of RBS Private Banking and RBS Private Client Group. Serving more than 100 business owners and high net worth clients, it employs a team of five wealth management and financial planning advisors administering £100 million of assets under management.

AGL becomes IWP’s seventh regional office and its second acquisition in less than a month, having completed a deal last week with Prosper Wealth Management of Lancashire. That agreement took IWP to more than £1 billion in funds under management.

IWP’s aim is to establish a nationwide presence of about 50 offices with £2 billion of client assets.

In a statement, Mr Gibson said further deals in Scotland are expected.

“We are delighted to be working with IWP as together we have a fantastic opportunity to build something greater,” he said. “We will grow our business through selective acquisitions, taking on firms that meet our high employee, client and shareholder expectations.”

IWP is majority owned and controlled by its management team, who initially set up the business with four founding firms: Alexander Grace of the West Midlands; Kelsall Steele, based in Cornwall; Murdoch Asset Management of Hampshire; and Rixons Wealth Management in East Yorkshire.

“We’re very pleased that AGL Wealth Management is the first Scottish wealth planning firm to join IWP,” chief executive David Inglesfield said.

“Craig and his team are dedicated to providing the type of brilliant financial advice that stands at the heart of IWP’s mission. Together we’ll help them reach even more customers in the year ahead.”

IWP has been working with AGL for the past couple of months to complete the deal, and is in similar discussions with more than 30 other IFAs throughout the UK, of which “several” are in Scotland. These include both larger firms in key locations and smaller ones that could be merged.

Day-to-day management has been left in the hands of the AGL management team, who have also retained an undisclosed minority equity interest in the business.