Our business strategy is to build Paradigm Norton both through organic ‘client by client’ growth and also by acquiring other excellent and high-quality financial planning businesses that share our values and approach to client care. Since the company was formed in 2001 we have bought and successfully integrated five financial planning businesses.
We aim to be the buyer of choice for quality fee-based financial planning* businesses, particularly those which are owner-managed and demonstrate a high level of entrepreneurial flair.
We define a financial planning firm as one that:
- Offers a comprehensive life time cash flow planning service to all clients;
- Follows the Institute of Financial Planning’s six-step financial planning process or something similar;
- Integrates investment planning, retirement planning, estate and tax planning and philanthropy planning into its core service offering;
- Seeks to make a profound difference in the lives of its clients;
- Recognises that money is purely a means to an end so working with their clients to determine their personal goals, future plans and ambitions is a key part of the client service offering.
Many acquiring firms appear to view acquisitions as ‘merchandise’ – so, before the ink is dry on the business sale agreement the new purchaser is contemplating an appropriate exit strategy for the newly acquired business.
Our approach is quite different. Paradigm Norton will only engage in discussions with firms that truly care about their businesses, that have a demonstrable passion for putting their clients and team first and where there is every probability that both will stay with us for the long haul.
We are not interested in purely building assets under management or becoming an ‘asset aggregator’, nor are we interested in building numbers or ‘head count’ for the sake of it.
There are certainly acquirers of IFA businesses in the UK that have deeper pockets than ours, but with some, the long-term sustainability of their business models is, in our view, questionable. Some would certainly seem more focused on the forthcoming IPO than concerned about genuinely making a difference in their clients’ lives.
We have appointed a senior operations director who has the responsibility for mergers and acquisitions and business integration. We recognise that there is always an opportunity to create new and better ways of doing things. Post-acquisition, therefore, we will work with our newly acquired partners to create a strategy which truly incorporates the best of both companies.
We are looking to acquire businesses that have the following key attributes:
- A well-qualified professional team who share our passion to serve clients with excellence;
- A high quality client base;
- A firm that would share the values of Paradigm Norton as articulated on our website;
- A high level of recurring revenue with at least a three-year track record of consistent and rising profits; *
- Operate a transparent remuneration structure;
- Genuinely put financial planning at the core of the business.
* Current year profits or EBITDA should exceed £200,000
If you are interested in finding out more about the Paradigm Norton acquisition strategy, please contact the CEO, Barry Horner, in the first instance on 01275 370 670.