Private equity firm buys Hawksmoor in surprise move


Hurst Point Group, a subsidiary of US private equity giant Carlyle Group, has bought Hawksmoor Investment Management in a surprise move.

Hawksmoor had initially put a quarter of its business up for sale in March 2019 to provide retiring staff means to sell their shares. but after negotiations, the deal morphed into a complete acquisition.

The price has not been disclosed, but the deal will see the boutique fund house become a subsidiary of Hurst Point. Hawksmoor said it will retain its independence and that there will be no material changes after it changes ownership. A number of its staff will roll over their equity stakes in the business into the new company.

The firm has built up small but loyal army of followers through its Vanbrugh, Distribution and Global Opportunities funds, which invest in other funds and investment trusts. It runs around £1.5bn across its funds and private client businesses.

Hurst Point was set up by Carlyle in 2019 and used as the vehicle through which it acquired Harwood Wealth Management. It is an investment advisory business run by ex-Old Mutual strategy director Ian Gladman and former colleagues, which is looks for ways to tap into the theme of consolidation within fund and wealth management.

Citywire columnist David Kempton is a non-executive director of Hawksmoor Investment Management.

Hawksmoor chief executive Sarah Soar (pictured), who took the reins from founder John Crowley over a year ago, said the deal will help it achieve its ‘strategic objectives’, namely growing the business.

The company reported its strongest ever financial year in its latest results, with profits nearly doubling to £1.1m in 2019. Its expansion plans, which had potentially included making its own acquisitions, were halted however, due to the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

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The positive 2019 numbers built on the profit Hawksmoor turned in 2018, its first four years after dipping into the red while it undertook a long-term major overhaul of the business.

Commenting on the acquisition Gladman said: ‘We have long held the Hawksmoor business high regard and believe we can support the business to fulfil its true potential in the years to come. We look forward to working with Sarah, her management team and a very talented group of employees to realise our shared future vision for the business.’

 

 



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