MBO sees Cripps Portfolio quit firm

Cripps Harries Hall is set to see turnover drop by 25 per cent this year as its investment and wealth management arm completes a management buyout (MBO).

Cripps Portfolio, which has renamed itself Heartwood Wealth Management, carried out the MBO late last year. However, some partners at Cripps still own minority stakes in the business, which administers more than £650m of funds for clients.

Heartwood chief executive David Lough told The Lawyer: “Heartwood and Cripps realised that this is the right time for both parties. We’re 18 years’ old and we were ready to fly the nest.”

The MBO will allow Heartwood to invest more of its profits into the business and make it easier to make acquisitions. It also hopes to win more work from other solicitors’ firms.

The wealth management arm was founded in 1998 as part of Cripps and became Cripps Portfolio when it demerged in 2001.

Cripps Portfolio accounted for around of quarter of Kent-based Cripps’ £19.4m turnover last year (2004-05).

Cripps managing partner Jonathan Denny said: “This completes a process that started with the demerger. They wanted to control their own destiny, which wasn’t an unreasonable thing to want.”