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AFH acquires Lancashire IFA firm

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Consolidator AFH has added £16.5m in funds under management by acquiring Lancashire IFA David Rushton Associates.

The acquisition price of £298,125 represents just 1.8 per cent of total funds under management at David Rushton with £157,500 paid on completion of the deal. A further £140,625 will be paid over the next 26 months in two lots, dependent on performance.

After the acquisition managing director David Rushton will join AFH.

AFH chief executive Alan Hudson says: “The acquisition of the assets of David Rushton follows the strategy restated in our recent trading update of making selective acquisitions to develop our expansion nationally and leverage our central investment and support functions.

“The company continues to seek high quality businesses of all sizes that will embrace the AFH culture of providing exceptional value to our growing client base while providing attractive returns to our shareholders.”

AFH acquired 11 advice firms during 2015. Between 2011 and when AFH listed on Aim in June 2014, the firm made 21 acquisitions.

Its most recent acquisition came in October this year, when AFH acquired the assets of East Anglian IFA CRS Financial Planning.

However, Hudson says he prefers not to call the firm a consolidator as it also pursues organic growth.

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Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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