PKF advises Fairstone Group on their acquisition of PAX

Fairstone Group (“Fairstone”) have acquired PAX Financial (“PAX” or “AskPaul”)

Irish financial planning firm PAX has been acquired by UK wealth management company Fairstone in a move that marks its entry into the Irish market. PAX, which is based in Dublin, has 66 staff and advisers and offers a range of services for more than 7,700 clients. The financial planning firm also manages funds of €200m.

It is also behind the ‘AskPaul’ brand, which offers financial advice to Irish consumers via social media channels. PAX chief executive Paul Merriman will now become the CEO of Fairstone in Ireland. The decision by Fairstone to acquire PAX is a measure of confidence in the Irish market and represents an exciting opportunity for the Irish consumer.

PKF acted as lead corporate finance advisor to the Fairstone Group on this transaction.

Lee Hartley, CEO, Fairstone Group commented:

“When we made the strategic decision to expand into Ireland we were able to do so because of the fantastic support of PKF and David Lucas and Patrick Keane. From the outset they helped us to formulate an approach which would make our entry into a new market much more seamless than it otherwise would have been. David and Patrick took the time to explain the dynamics of the Irish financial advice sector and also really understood our objectives – this gave us a great starting point.

From then on PKF conducted a full market-mapping exercise, identified a pool of suitable firms and then arranged opportunities for us to meet with each business and discuss our plans. This initial project has led to us completing three acquisitions which will form our Irish growth platform and we look forward to working with David and PKF over the coming years as we establish a much larger Irish presence.”

Iain Jamieson, CFO, Fairstone Group said:

“Having David by our side turbo charged our chances of finding the right strategic partner to expand into the Irish market. With his intimate knowledge of the market, David introduced us to PAX and with Patrick facilitated the consummation of our search.” 

David Lucas, Corporate Finance Partner, PKF said:

“We are really pleased to have acted for Fairstone Group on their move into in the Irish IFA market acquiring PAX Financial.  They are a great team and have built a great business. I’d like to congratulate Lee Harley & Iain Jamieson (Fairstone) and Paul Merriman, Ian Britton & Conor Byrne (PAX) and all involved in the deal. This is the start of a great partnership and look forward to seeing continued growth and success. “

About the Fairstone Group:

Fairstone is a full-service wealth management house delivering integration-led growth to emerge as a new leader in the UK regulatory landscape. Launched in 2008 Fairstone is a ‘new model’ financial services business operating across both retail and corporate sectors. Having made over 50 acquisitions in the past ten years, Fairstone currently employs more than 1,000 people across 40 UK-wide locations and have £13.5bn funds under management. Fairstone has over 70.000 customers which are at the heart of everything the Group does. The Group is currently backed by two private equity houses, namely Synova Capital and TA Associates.

About PAX Financial:

PAX Financial is a multi-agent financial intermediary offering financial planning and advisory services largely to individuals acquired by Paul Merriman in 2011. Furthermore, in 2015, Paul Merriman launched the AskPaul brand, which currently has over 100,000 followers on Instagram. PAX has experienced significant growth over the past two years. Today PAX has an estimated €200m assets under management.