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Supporting Wren Sterling With Its Double Acquisition

Our client Wren Sterling has announced its double acquisition of Ralston Bennett Financial Planning and Callisto Wealth.

The Investments team at Thistle Initiatives was engaged by Wren Sterling to undertake acquisition due diligence on Ralston and to provide support with the change of control in order to acquire Callisto.

The Wren Sterling Group has added around 2,000 clients and £400m of assets with the purchase of three firms – two in Northern Ireland together with a further business in St Helens.

Ralston Bennett Financial Planning and its appointed representative business, Aspects Financial, will combine to create Wren Sterling’s first permanent base in Northern Ireland, with the two offices located in Holywood and Newtownards respectively. The two firms comprise seven financial advisers between them and serve clients across Northern Ireland in the private client and corporate client markets.

Separately, Callisto Wealth serves around 140 households from its St Helens base and will become part of Wren Sterling’s North-West hub in Wilmslow.

2023 is set to be a key year for Wren Sterling’s acquisition strategy with four acquisitions already completed and a growing and significant pipeline. The Group has also recently relaunched MFDM, its DFM solution, following its acquisition in November 2022.

CEO, James Twining, commented: “I would like to welcome all our new colleagues from Ralston Bennett and Aspects Financial into the Wren Sterling Group. Our move into Northern Ireland is strategically very important for us. We already have clients in Northern Ireland who will be better served by a local adviser, and we see real opportunity to grow in what is a large and attractive market. We intend to support our new Northern Ireland management team through further acquisitions, while enabling them to grow organically through the strategic change programme we’re executing elsewhere in Wren Sterling. This will simplify our operations and reduce client charges through a preferred platform strategy, alongside a refreshed proposition and brand.

“We are also excited to welcome Andrew Platt and his team at Callisto Wealth. As a Chartered Financial Planner Andrew has long-lasting and trusted relationships with his clients and wants to spend more time helping his clients and less time on the non-client facing and increasingly onerous aspects of running a regulated financial services business. We are ideally placed to enable him and other owners facing similar challenges to do just that, by leveraging our centralised compliance, operations, finance, HR and IT infrastructure. These are exciting times to be at Wren Sterling.”

Alex Paschalis, Director at Thistle Initiatives commented: “We want to congratulate Wren Sterling on their successful acquisition of both companies. It was a pleasure to engage once more with the Wren Sterling team, and we look forward to doing so on future acquisitions.”

To find out more about our Acquisition Due Diligence services or to speak to a member of our expert team, please call 0207 436 0630 or email