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24 June, 2019 - 13:31 By Tony Quested

Brown Shipley swallows NW Brown to create £9bn wealth management powerhouse

Oliver Phillips

NW Brown, the Cambridge and Norwich-based provider of wealth management and employee benefits services, has merged its financial services operations with UK private bank Brown Shipley. 

The deal ends more than 45 years of independence for the firm masterminded by Nigel Brown to underpin the growth of a then formative entrepreneurial community in Cambridge.

No figures are being released for the Brown-on-Brown activity. Law firm Birketts advised NW Brown.

Brown Shipley & Co Limited is a UK authorised private bank and a member of KBL European Private Bankers SA. It is headquartered in London's Lothbury, behind the Bank of England. BSCo offers wealth planning, investment management and lending services for private, corporate and institutional clients. 

Founded in Cambridge in 1974, NW Brown is a successful wealth manager working predominantly with private clients to offer financial planning and investment management services. 

The business also provides a range of services to corporates, including employee pensions and other employee benefits. NW Brown has £1 billion of discretionary funds under management and has 74 employees.

This development is part of Brown Shipley's growth strategy to add further scale and unlock additional regional opportunities. The addition of NW Brown’s operations will increase Brown Shipley's total assets under management to almost £9bn.

The merger is expected to complete by the end of Q3 2019 subject to regulatory approval. Following completion the Cambridge and Norwich offices of NW Brown will be fully integrated into Brown Shipley in 2020, serving as the East Anglia hub for the business and adding to the six existing Brown Shipley offices.

James Allen, corporate partner at Birketts, led with transaction with support from Faisal Bhatti (corporate) and Karl Pocock (corporate tax). Richard Proctor, tax partner, John Weston and Chris Richardson of MHA Larking Gowen advised NW Brown on the private client and shareholder tax aspects.

Oliver Phillips, CEO of NW Brown, who will continue to lead the business, said: “The Birketts team impressed us throughout: a good job efficiently executed. They understood our requirements and ensured the merger completed with minimal fuss.”

James Allen concluded: “There are clear parallels between the two firms, both in terms of services and culture, and this merger provides significant opportunities for growth.”

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