23rd January 2019

Harwood Wealth Management is showing no signs of slowing its march down the acquisition trail after earmarking more than £4m for further acquisitions.

The consolidator’s annual results, published this morning, showed its assets under influence and assets under management up 26% and 42% respectively in 12 months.

Harwood told Professional Adviser it currently had eight firms in its sights at various stages of the acquisition process. The firm ended the year with a cash balance of £13.6m – £4.2m of which has been set aside for further acquisitions.

Chief executive officer Alan Durrant said the firm had found a model that worked for it, adding: “Why change something that isn’t broken?”

For his part, non-executive chairman Peter Mann said firms often approached Harwood looking to be bought. The reasons for businesses wanting to be acquired was generally age-related, he said, with owners looking to retire, though “onerous” regulation such as MiFID II also played a role.

‘Large pool of opportunities’

He continued: “It has been another year of strong growth for the group, with EBITDA achieved ahead of the board’s expectations that were set at the start of the year. Our financial success demonstrates the efficacy of Harwood’s three-pronged growth strategy and the benefits of building a recognised market position in a fast-consolidating industry.

“Acquisitions are a key part of our strategy. We remain very confident that a large pool of opportunities exists, many of which we expect to execute in 2019, continuing to grow the business in scale and capability. We are confident in the group’s outlook, with Harwood well positioned to deliver further growth.”