Strabane financial advice firm Kennedy is acquired by Benchmark

Michael Kennedy
Michael Kennedy

SUSSEX-based Benchmark Capital has completed its second acquisition in Northern Ireland by buying Kennedy Independent Financial Advice (KFA) in Strabane for an undisclosed sum.

It comes in the wake of its takeover of Waterhouse Financial Planning last May, which first established a presence in the north for Benchmark, which employs 450 staff and has £17 billion of assets on its platform and £5 billion in portfolio solutions on behalf of 1,000-plus financial advisers.

The deal forms part of Benchmark’s strategy to build a central hub in Derry, adding £80m in assets, strengthening the local team and accelerating growth in Northern Ireland.

The business and staff of KFA will become part of Benchmark Financial Planning, and will move to the firm’s premises in Derry.

Its managing director Michael Kennedy - who has been writing a personal finance column in the Irish News for more than five years - will work with wealth planning director Sinead Meenan, who leads the financial planning practice.

The latest addition to Benchmark is part of its ongoing strategy to support high-quality advisers with a long-term view to their future as they transition to the next stage of their own unique journey.

Ed Dymott, managing director wealth at Benchmark, said: “KFA is a much-valued addition to the Benchmark family. It not only has a strong reputation for providing quality advice but has strong ties to the local area and a deep understanding of their clients.

“We feel this very much aligns with our own values and we look forward to working with them to further strengthen our base in Derry and also provide support for future growth and development in the region.”

Michael Kennedy at KFA said: “This partnership marks an exciting development in the next chapter of our business that will provide security and stability for our clients and our staff.

“We pride ourselves on our personal approach and working with client’s long-term goals in mind. Benchmark share this long-term philosophy and will enable us to deliver the same quality advice, but with the added benefit of access to a wider pool of support through their technology enabled proposition.

“We’re looking forward to moving to the new offices in Derry and the potential that this move unlocks for us and the commitment to chartered financial advice in the region.”

Benchmark is a subsidiary of Schroders plc, founded in 1804 and one of Europe’s largest independent investment management firms by assets under management (it currently manages assets of more than £730 billion).