In less than twenty years, Dunedin Independent grew to be one of top wealth management firms in the UK. It manages assets valued at more than £350m for a range of high-net worth individuals. Today, it is independent no more. In a deal said to be worth some £4m, it’s been bought by the Swiss firm, Helvetia Wealth.
The company’s existing managing director, Yuill Irvine, is expected to stay on, heading up its Edinburgh operations. He’s convinced the merger will bring benefits to clients, explaining that “the enlarged group features two prominent IFA firms in Scotland, Dunedin Independent plc and City Gate Money Managers. In addition, Helvetia owns a controlling stake in London-based TAM Asset Management with a London Stock Exchange brokerage licence allowing us to execute our own trades faster at better margins. The amalgamation will introduce a range of cost attractive synergies for Helvetia and attractive efficiencies for all three firm’s clients.”
Helvetia Wealth already has a significant presence in the UK, as well as in key markets such as Liechtenstein, Geneva, Hamburg, Mauritius and Dublin. The group’s asset base is now valued at 1.5-billion Swiss Francs (just under £1bn) and it’s earmarked the UK as one of its key targets.
It was founded in 2005 to identify and acquire potential growth companies throughout Europe, but particularly in the UK. However, its licence authorises it to operate in all European Union member states. It is now one of the leading asset management firms in Europe with the ability to offer Swiss investment solutions to UK clients.
According to its CEO, Kamil Stender, the expanded company can now “boast over 100 finance professionals based in our three UK offices. We anticipate that our proposition of international fund management centred in Switzerland will prove attractive to Scottish investors and that the new UK business will grow substantially in spite of uncertain market conditions at present.”
Dunedin’s present chairman, Edinburgh businessman Mark Emlick, is expected to leave the business following the deal. He plans to concentrate on his property investment and private equity portfolios. However, it’s thought that all of the 30 staff based in Edinburgh will stay with the business.
He argues that the deal is good for everyone involved, insisting that “Helvetia will be a perfect partner for Dunedin, providing a strong platform for our clients and an excellent opportunity for our staff to develop. Being part of a leading European company with its excellent fund management credentials will reinforce Dunedin’s offering and I am sure the business will go from strength to strength.”