OakNorth Bank completes £4m loan to Cheshire-based financial advisory firm, Cullen Wealth, to support a management buy-out

  • Founded in March 1998 by Richard Cullen, Cullen Wealth provides investments, pensions and tax planning services to both individuals and businesses;
  • With over 3,000 clients and assets under management (AUM) exceeding £1bn, the firm is one of the largest independently-owned financial advisory firms in the UK;
  • Cullen Wealth’s client investments continue to show resilient performance despite COVID-19 and have performed well against benchmarks and peers;
  • The financial advisory sector is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5% from 2022-26, driven by increased confidence levels, an ageing population and a rise in workplace pensions[1].

OakNorth Bank – the UK bank powered by OakNorth – has completed a £4m loan to Cullen Wealth, one of the largest independently owned financial advisory firms in the UK, to support a management (non-operational) buy-out.

Founded in 1998 by Richard Cullen, the firm provides independent financial planning advice to both individuals and businesses, focussing on delivering a compelling proposition and sound financial decisions. Headquartered in Heaton Mersey, Cheshire, the firm now has over 3,000 clients and over £1bn of assets under management. Client investments continue to show resilient performance compared to benchmarks and peers, despite COVID-19. The company was also awarded Chartered status by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) – the industry’s gold standard – for its technical knowledge, competence and ethical behaviour.

Richard Cullen, Chairman and CEO, Cullen Wealth, said: “Since our launch over two decades ago, we’ve had strong ambitions of growing a business that provides outstanding advice and service to clients. It therefore makes me hugely proud that we’re now one of the leading independent financial advisory practices in the UK,  helping individuals and businesses better their financial outcomes over time. The funding from OakNorth Bank will allow us to continue scaling the business further through potential acquisitions, as well as by strengthening our investment offering, helping us to build more long term relationships with our clients.”

Stewart Haworth, Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank, added: “Richard is an industry stalwart who has  deep-rooted experience of over three decades in the financial advisory space. It is this level of experience, coupled with the hugely talented team around him, that has allowed Richard to build such a positive reputation for Cullen Wealth across the North West. With the financial advisory sector set for significant growth over the next five years, driven by increased confidence levels and overall wealth, as well as an ageing population and a rise in workplace pensions, Richard and his team are in a perfect position to capitalise on this tailwind. We’re delighted to have been able to support such a well-renowned and established financial advisory firm and look forward to watching their growth story going forward.”

[1] IBIS World – Financial Advisers in the UK – July 2020


Notes to editors

About OakNorth Bank plc

Launched in September 2015 and founded by entrepreneurs, OakNorth Bank provides fast, flexible and accessible debt finance to the UK’s Missing Middle. To date, it has lent several billion pounds to businesses, directly helping with the creation of tens of thousands of new homes and jobs across the UK.

It has borrowers across a variety of sectors, including: healthcare (nursing homes and retirement villages), consumer goods, vehicle and parts manufacturing, capital goods manufacturing, household professional services (including educational services), nurseries, business support services, hospitality and recreation (including hotels, resorts, restaurants and bars, fast food outlets and limited service restaurants), SME residential and commercial property development and investment.

OakNorth Bank’s commercial lending is supported by a loyal base of deposit customers. Customers can fund and manage their account online or via the OakNorth Bank app and should they have any queries, they can call the dedicated, UK-based customer service team.

It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Visit wordpress-test-website.oaknorth-it.com for more information.


Tom Pavey-Smith, Associate Director, Growth & Communications – tom.pavey-smith@oaknorth.co.uk / 0791 716 5588

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