Buyout of wealth management company with offices in Ipswich and Norwich

Stephen Girling of SG Wealth Management. Picture: Robert Yeatman at Eastern Lightcraft

Stephen Girling of SG Wealth Management. Picture: Robert Yeatman at Eastern Lightcraft - Credit: Archant

An East Anglian wealth management company with £250m of funds in its portfolio has been bought up by its managing director.

SG Wealth Management’s managing director, Stephen Girling, has successfully completed a buyout of the business he founded almost 18 years ago with co-director Neil Shillito.

Specialising in financial planning for high net worth individuals, SG Wealth Management (SGWM) was launched in 2001 in Norwich by Mr Girling and Mr Shillito. Ten years later, SGWM acquired Ipswich-based Stan Gaskin Ltd and 18 months ago moved its Ipswich operation to a new waterfront office on Wherry Quay.

The company now has a client base covering East Anglia and beyond, and a corporate services division which deals solely with business-to-business relationships.

With Mr Shillito reaching retirement age, Mr Girling decided to execute the privately funded buyout and take full control of the business in a three-year burnout agreed with shareholders – meaning he will be buying the company over a three-year period.

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Although Mr Girling has become majority shareholder, there is no change in company structure, with Dr Andy Wood, chief executive of Adnams, continuing his current position of chairman and all employees remaining in their existing roles.

Mr Girling said: “Neil and I have grown the business successfully together over many years and the time was right for me to fully take the helm. This now gives me the opportunity to invest in new technologies, increase our efficiencies and enjoy building the company further.”

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To that end, SGWM has just signed up to a new IT hub in order to protect client confidentiality and enhance their digital offering. “Also for financial companies like ours, clients now expect to access information 24/7 through their devices and we want to enable that to happen,” Mr Girling explained.

SGWM employs 35 staff across both Norwich and Ipswich, and has plans to take on more soon. “We want to engage with clients not just via the phone and face to face but also digitally,” said Mr Girling. “We’re hiring new e-advisors – rather than just advisers, that’s the buzzword – but we haven’t yet decided whether we want to hire through a third party or in-house.”

Chairman Mr Wood said: “This is an excellent outcome for staff and customers. It provides continuity of leadership. Steven and I look forward to taking SG Wealth Management on further on their great journey.

“We are very thankful to Neil for the contribution he made.”

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