Quilter bought by private equity firm Bridgepoint

Wealth manager Quilter is to be sold to private equity company Bridgepoint, according to owner Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

The company has been sold to Bridgepoint “in partnership” with the Quilter management team, but the terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The sale is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2012.

Quilter chief executive Martin Baines says: “This is an extremely exciting move for us, not least because Bridgepoint is very enthusiastic about our management team and our strategy for the firm.

“It is a tried and tested team that has been in place for many years in spite of changes of ownership.”

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney was reported to have also been in talks with another private equity firm Permira, however, it is understood these collapsed.

Bridgepoint partner Michael Black says: “Quilter is a long-established and highly regarded UK private client wealth management business operating
in a large but fragmented market favoured by underlying structural growth drivers.

“As such, we believe that there is every opportunity for Quilter to accelerate its growth organically as well as make complementary acquisitions for the business.”

The wealth manager currently has £7.6bn in funds under management (as at December 31 2011), and counts 13 offices across the UK, Dublin and Jersey.