Charles Cameron sold to Socium as group plots nationwide expansion under new brand

(London, 2 August 2021): Mortgage broker Charles Cameron has been bought by the Socium Group as part of its plans to build a 300-strong IFA adviser business by 2025.

The brokerage will continue trading as Charles Cameron Associates in the immediate future but there are longer-term plans to unify all of Socium’s acquired business under one newly-chosen brand.

Chief executive Simon Nimmo and his management team will remain in place as the company departs from its previous owner Lonsdale Capital.

The advice firm was founded in 2004 and has more than 90 mortgage and protection advisers.

In the 12 months to April 2021 the team completed in excess of £3.1bn of mortgages for their clients.

A source of Charles Cameron’s revenue comes from working with HR teams to provide employee benefits. The firm will be able to leverage its newly-formed IFA ties by widening the referral services it can offer HR teams.

Charles Cameron will be Socium Group’s eighth acquisition as it looks to acquire up to 20 businesses around the country.

The group is led by ex-Openwork boss Mary-Anne McIntyre (pictured). Backed by private equity firm Penta Capital, Socium’s ambition is to build 15 to 20 regional hubs in the next four years.

A regional hub, according to the company’s definition, is a well-run profitable business that has plans to double in size in the next two years. The group’s strategy is to buy up a number of firms around the country to build a national IFA brand and support its growth plans.

To help it grow, companies like Charles Cameron will be given capital and resources to acquire smaller businesses local to them to expand the hub.

When Socium laid out its plans last year amid news of its acquisition of the Beaufort Group, another financial services firm, parent company Penta was reported to be armed with an acquisition war chest of £160m. The Beaufort deal failed to complete.

The other seven acquisitions are True Bearing, Chorley, Premier Financial Management, Marlow, Chancery Financial Planning, London, Shipman Financial Planning, Taunton, Emery (IFA), Essex, Wealth Solutions (UK), Birmingham and Johnston Campbell, Belfast.

Excluding Charles Cameron, there are currently 72 advisers across the group.

Nimmo said: “I am extremely proud and excited to be bringing Charles Cameron under the Socium Group of companies. This move means we can offer our clients an even wider range of services from independent financial advisers positioned at the absolute pinnacle of the industry.”

Socium’s chief executive Mary-Anne McIntyre added: “Charles Cameron is a business of exceptional quality and It’s decision to join us has created quite a buzz across our group because of the significant growth opportunities it brings.

 “Our partnership brings benefits to our IFA businesses and to Charles Cameron, as well as a complete advice proposition for clients and we’re excited to see how it develops over the next few years.”

Socium would not disclose how much it paid for its controlling stake in the London-based mortgage business but sellers Lonsdale said they have made a return on their original investment of 2.5 times. Lonsdale bought Charles Cameron in January 2018.

August 2, 2021 Back