The deal builds on the group’s dozen acquisitions completed over the last 12 months.
Bosses at Ascot Lloyd noted that Central Investment has a “longstanding track record of success in the Scottish market”, providing professional financial planning and investment management services to private and corporate clients across the region.
Collectively the acquisition adds about £760 million in funds under influence, eight IFAs as well as a team of support staff to the Ascot Lloyd Group.
The acquisition supports the group’s commitment to serving the full breadth of the UK with its “market leading advisory services”. As a result of the deal, Ascot Lloyd becomes one of the largest financial adviser firms in Aberdeen.
Chief executive Nigel Stockton said: “Ascot Lloyd continues to be one of the fastest growing IFAs in the UK, and the acquisition of Central Investment adds to our already extensive national footprint.
“We are extremely pleased that we have been able to continue the momentum with which we ended 2020 and our strong balance sheet means that we remain well-positioned to continue to deliver on our M&A [merger and acquisition] strategy. Critically, we are continuing to identify high-quality businesses that match our culture and values.
“For Central Investment, they are joining a business that can sufficiently alleviate the regulatory and compliance burdens smaller firms face, allowing them to increase time spent on their core role – advising clients.
“Scotland is of huge importance to us, and we are delighted to have further grown our presence here,” he added.
Derek Robertson, managing director of Central Investment, said: “In recent years it has become increasingly challenging for regional IFA practices such as us to continually adapt to growing regulatory burdens and ever-rising costs.
“Joining with a national firm such as Ascot Lloyd, means we have the support behind us and we can continue to grow and serve our local community working with clients in the long-term as we always have.
“It was important for us to find a partner that aligns with our culture and ethos, and through Ascot Lloyd we have found a perfect match.
“We look forward to working with our new colleagues to continue to offer the high-quality service that has underpinned Central Investment as a well-respected advisory business in the region.”
Ascot Lloyd is one of the largest independently-owned IFA firms in the UK, with some £9.4 billion in funds “under influence” as of the end of 2020. The group provides financial planning, wealth management and corporate benefit services via more than 130 IFAs serving in excess of 21,000 core clients.
Employing more than 500 staff, the business operates out of 16 locations nationwide and is supported by Oaktree Capital Management and Ares Management Corporation.
The IFA sector has seen a wave of consolidation in recent years amid increasing levels of red tape and regulation, as well as rising costs.