Glasgow’s Speirs & Jeffrey swallowed in £100m-plus deal
● Acquisition by Rathbones will see name disappear and windfall for bosses
largest independent wealth manager, Speirs & Jeffrey, has agreed a £104 million deal to be acquired by London firm Rathbone Brothers, in a move that will see some eventual job losses and the Glasgow firm rebrand in line with its new owner.
Proceeds of the deal will provide a major windfall for its eight shareholders, while a pot totalling “several millions of pounds” is being put aside to be shared by about 150 Speirs & Jeffrey staff.
The transaction was originally mooted in April. Rathbones is to acquire the business – which has funds under management of £6.7 billion and 38 investment professionals – as it seeks to establish itself as a market-leader north of the Border.
The initial consideration of £104m comprises £79m in cash (funded in part by a proposed £60m equity placing) and the issue of a million new Rathbones shares worth £25m. Further awards worth up to a potential £15m in Rathbones shares may also be payable, depending on various targets being met.
All of Speirs & Jeffrey’s current directors and investment managers will be joining Rathbones, and Speirs & Jeffrey chief executive Russell Crichton will head up Rathbones’ Scottish business which will include 75 investment professionals. Rathbones’ Glasgow team will combine with Speirs & Jeffrey to consolidate the former’s existing Glasgow presence.
Speaking to The Scotsman, Crichton said that after a strategic review, the decision was made to sell up as “it would be in the best interests of our clientsforthelongterm”.headded that it considered a “handful” of companies – with previous reports highlighting private equity firm Permira – but ultimately chose Rathbones, seeing a very close fit in terms of customer service.
The London-based investment firm said the acquisition, which is subject to regulatoscotland’s ry approval and expected to complete in the third quarter, will see Glasgow becoming the group’s largest office after London, complementing its sites in Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
Such a network will provide “very good” coverage north of the Border, according to Rathbones, which said the deal will increase its pro-forma funds under management by nearly a fifth to £44.5bn, thereby reinforcing it as one of the UK’S largest firms of its kind.
Speirs & Jeffrey, which has been operating out of Glasgow for more than 100 years, will rebrand as Rathbones in June next year.
Philip Howell, chief executive of Rathbones, added that Speirs & Jeffrey is “very much a Rathbones lookalike”. In terms of staffing, he said such a deal, which comes amid sector consolidation, inevitably results in some overlap in terms of resource, and over time efficiencies will be identified. Most likely for reduction will be the likes of back-office roles, Crichton added.
Rathbones started as a timber merchant in the 1720s, later becoming an investment manager.