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June 17, 2011

Stanhope and Jewson talk to Spear's about acquisition

By Spear's

Stanhope Capital will create a new division focussing on the charitable sector, to be named Stanhope Jewson. The combined group will be overseeing approximately USD7.5 billion in assets and will have 58 employees working from offices located in London and Geneva

Boutique investment firm Stanhope Capital has acquired Jewson Associates, an investment consultancy firm specialising in the non-profit sector.

As a result of the acquisition, Stanhope Capital will create a new division focussing on the charitable sector, to be named Stanhope Jewson. The combined group will be overseeing approximately USD7.5 billion in assets and will have 58 employees working from offices located in London and Geneva.

Daniel Pinto, co-founder and chairman of Stanhope, describes the acquisition as a natural progression for the company, which was founded eight years ago and is now one of the largest private investment offices in London. He says that charities were increasingly interested in the services Stanhope offers its private clients. ‘The core philosophy of Stanhope Capital is to be completely aligned with our clients, as opposed to our products, and to be completely transparent and independent. And what we have realised over the past two years is that an increasing number of charities and endowments were actually looking for the same kind of service and approach.

‘We started signing our first charity clients about two-and-a-half years ago, and we realised that as the segment was heading in the same direction as private clients, it would be potentially interesting for us to beef up our presence in the charity segment.’

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Pinto says he turned to Jewson because ‘it is one of the best known players in the world of investment consulting for charities and endowments.’ The company was founded fifteen years ago by Edward Jewson, and its clients include London School of Economics, the University of Lancaster and Reading University.  

Edward Jewson also believes that the two firms are a natural fit, and that the acquisition was an excellent way to expand his company, which had been growing consistently for three years. He says: ‘I saw that at Stanhope they had the same ethos and the same way of conducting their business without selling products and that was very appealing. It was seen as a great fit, and our response from our clients so far has been extremely good.’

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Both partners say that they are well placed to take advantage of a growing demand for independent investment advice from charities, particularly as the sector has been financially squeezed since 2008.

‘There are two trends which really put us in a very good position,’ Pinto says. ‘The first one is that you see that charities are more and more keen to invest globally as opposed to investing exclusively in the domestic market. Charities understand now that to be properly diversified you need to invest in more asset classes and across the world.

‘The second trend is that the business of investing is becoming more and more tricky and it is very difficult for many boards of trustees, that can meet only twice of three times a year, to make important decisions on a real time basis. As a result an increasing number of charities are turning to investment advisers who will be in a position to react to the market in real time.’

The firms would not comment on the value of the transaction, but did say that two-thirds of the combine groups’ clients would be individuals, with the remaining third made up of charities and endowments. Edward Jewson will become a Partner of Stanhope Capital and Head of Stanhope Jewson, and the Jewson team will move to Stanhope Capital’s headquarters in Portman Square.

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