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UK's Harwood Wealth Management Group acquires financial advisory firm

British asset manager Harwood Wealth Management Group Plc will acquire Southampton, U.K.-based independent financial advisory firm AE Financial Services Ltd. from AE Insurance Services Ltd. for a purchase price of £4.6 million, plus £1.5 million in respect of net cash balances.

The initial consideration of £2.4 million plus cash balances has been paid on the deal's completion using existing cash resources, Harwood said, adding that a further deferred consideration of up to £2.2 million will be payable in two tranches over the next 24 months, subject to AE Financial reaching certain performance criteria.

The transaction has already been approved by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.

Following the deal, AE Financial will continue to operate as a stand-alone brand and will benefit from Harwood's processes, technology and investment strategies. David Hayward, director of AE Financial, will remain with the company.

Harwood said the deal provides it with a strategic hub in Southampton and boosts its presence in the U.K.'s south coast, noting that the transaction is its "most significant acquisition" to date.