OakNorth Bank completes £5.3M loan to Kent-based, AFM Wealth, to support IFA acquisition programme

  • Founded in February 2020, AFM Wealth is the holding company for independently owned financial advisory firm, Absolute Financial Management;
  • With over 4,500 clients and assets under management (AUM) exceeding £500M, the firm provides expert financial advice for both businesses and individuals;
  • The capital will be used to support AFM Wealth’s acquisition programme, which has seen it acquire six small IFA firms since February 2021;
  • The financial advisory sector is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3% from 2022-27, driven by businesses and consumers increasingly seeking financial advice following the pandemic[1].

OakNorth Bank, the UK bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, has completed a £5.3M loan to Kent-based, AFM Wealth, to support its acquisition programme of IFA firms across the UK.

Founded in February 2020 following investment by Phil Hughes, AFM Wealth is the holding company for Absolute Financial Management, a leading IFA firm established in 1999 by Co-founders, Mark Eaton and Spencer Watt. With over 4,500 clients and AUM exceeding £500M, the firm provides expert financial advice for both businesses and individuals. It has a branch network across South East England, including in Ashford, Bognor Regis, Hastings and Colchester.

AFM Wealth’s acquisition programme has seen it acquire six small IFA firms since February 2021, including, Cheesman & Groves, Manor Hurst Associates and most recently, Granite Financial Management, with further acquisitions set to be completed this year.

Philip Hughes, Director of AFM Wealth, said: ““Since Absolute Financial Management’s launch over two decades ago, it has managed to build an extensive client book, serviced by a dedicated professional team ensuring continuity and quality of advice. We continue to operate under the core value of ‘our advice is our company’ and as a result, the business has thrived. The capital from OakNorth Bank will provide us with the financial firepower to accelerate our acquisition programme and be well-positioned to support customers through the challenging months and years ahead. Like us, the OakNorth team put the customer experience at the heart of everything they do, and this was clear from the first interaction we had with them.”

Stewart Haworth, Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank, added: “The successes that Mark, Spencer and Philip have managed to achieve to date come as no surprise, given their vast experiences gained over several decades of working within the UK’s financial advisory space. With the sector set for significant growth over the next five years, AFM Wealth is in a prime position to capitalise on this opportunity. We’re excited to be working with the team and look forward to continuing to support them on their growth journey going forward.”




Notes to editors

[1] IBIS WorldFinancial Advisers in the UK: September 2021

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.

Since its launch, the bank has:

  • Lent over £7.5B, directly helping with the creation of 34,000 new jobs and 24,000 new homes across the UK.
  • Raised deposits from c.160,000 savers.
  • Supported several hundred businesses across the UK with the debt finance to pursue their growth ambitions.

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

Media contact

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


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