HomeBussinessAsk Paul owner adds fifth Irish brokerage as expansion picks up

Ask Paul owner adds fifth Irish brokerage as expansion picks up


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UK-based wealth management company Fairstone entered the Irish market two years ago with an initial deal to acquire PAX, the original brokerage behind the Ask Paul brand, and followed up with a string of bolt-on deals.

Fairstone has now established a strategic partnership with Killeen Financial Services Ltd trading as Cleere Life & Pensions.

Cleere Life & Pensions was set up in 2015 by Gearoid Cleere and provides pensions, savings, investment and life assurance advice to clients including sole traders, small business owners and individuals mostly in Leinster.

The Kilkenny based firm has a turnover of €1.2m and AUM of just over €171m, the company said.

In 2022 Dublin-based PAX had 66 staff and advisers and managed funds of €200m. Former PAX CEO Paul Merriman heads the expanded business here.

Since buying PAX, Fairstone has already added three more brokerages; Carey Financial, Murray & Spelman Financial Services and Premier Financial.

Commenting on the latest deal, Mr Merriman, CEO of Fairstone Ireland, said the latest expansion exemplifies a commitment to become the leading wealth management firm in Ireland and accelerates his firm’s growth momentum.

“Together, we aim to enhance our capabilities, foster mutual growth, and set a new benchmark of partnership excellence in wealth management, building stronger relationships with financial brokerages across Ireland,” he said.

In the UK, Fairstone generated fee income last year of £130m (€151m) and oversees £17bn (€19.8bn) in client funds.

The latest expansion here is part of a wave of consolidation in financial services including internationally backed groups like Fairstone itself and domestic pension advisers like Tony Delaney’s SYS Group.

SYS has been expanding from its base in Nenagh and last year acquired Dublin-based Donald P McKenna & Associates.

That trend is even more advanced in the insurance sector with international groups like Howden, Ardonagh, NFP and PIB all competing aggressively to expand through bolt-on acquisitions in Ireland.

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