Acquisition moves Wren Sterling’s assets under management above £2bn


Palatine Private Equity portfolio company Wren Sterling has completed the transfer of approximately 17,000 policies from First Trust Financial Services Limited (“FTFS”) and seen assets under management (AUM) swell to over £2bn for the first time.

FTFS, a subsidiary of AIB Group (UK) plc (“the Bank”), operated in Northern Ireland offering advice in all aspects of investment, protection and retirement planning products. Recently, the Bank made a strategic decision to focus on its core banking activities but at the same time wanted to continue to ensure its FTFS customers had ongoing access to independent financial advice.

Through this arrangement and as part of the Bank’s commitment to offering added value to customers, Wren Sterling, a nationwide firm of independent financial planners, will now provide advice to FTFS’ customers using a combination of face-to-face and telephone advice through its desk-based Connect service.

Paul Chafer, Chief Commercial Officer at Wren Sterling commented: “The opportunity for us to further expand our distribution into Northern Ireland is perfect for Wren Sterling’s growth plans. Recently, Wren Sterling has delivered a number of large projects primarily through telephone advice, servicing thousands of clients in a short space of time. Furthermore, our experience in the building society sector, where we are now the largest supplier in the market, means we’re used to operating in branch for our partners and know how to integrate our services with other core services.”

Chafer expects demand for financial advice to grow in the near future as clients look to build plans to weather volatility in the market, while institutions and employers seek to add value to their offerings.

“We’ve seen increased demand for advice from clients in key areas like pensions and retirement planning advice in the past 12 months and I believe that will only grow through events like Brexit and as more people gain early access to their retirement income through pensions freedom.”