Allied Irish Bank backs buyout of all-female IFA firm

Executive Benefit Services was backed by Allied Irish Bank (GB). Picture: Sion Touhig/Getty Images
Executive Benefit Services was backed by Allied Irish Bank (GB). Picture: Sion Touhig/Getty Images
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An all-female IFA firm based in Lanark has completed a management buyout (MBO) after receiving £1 million in financial backing.

Executive Benefit Services (EBS), which manages wealth in excess of £200m and has a UK-wide client base, said it is now recruiting as it targets “steady” growth.

The MBO was initiated by Val Barr, chartered financial planner and the firm’s managing director, who joined in 2011 after ten years at Barclays Wealth.

She said she aims to capitalise on the expertise of her all-female employees, adding: “Female managing directors are rare in financial services, as are all-female employee teams.”

• READ MORE: Bailed-out Allied Irish Banks returns to stock market

Barr also said the buyout was completed within four months, backed by Allied Irish Bank (GB), and since then, the firm has made “substantial behind-the-scenes changes”, including streamlining and improving its internal systems and processes.

“We want to make this the best work environment possible,” she said.

Regarding its plans to expand headcount, she added: “We’re recruiting for two posts – an administrator and a financial adviser – and are ­targeting steady growth over the next four years.”

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Barr also pointed out that the relationship manager at Allied Irish who oversaw the transaction was a woman, ­Libby Clark, and added: “The tide is turning in Scotland’s financial services.”

Clark said: “We are proud to support another successful management buyout, an area of funding the bank has a healthy appetite for.”

The firm specialises in retirement and inheritance-tax planning for its predominantly owner-managed UK client base.

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