Wales-based Celtic Financial Planning has unveiled an office in Canary Wharf, London.
It has hired financial planner Cleona Lira to run the branch.
According to Lira’s Linkedin profile, she joins the company from 2plan Wealth Management, where she was an IFA. Prior to that, Lira held a similar role at Throgmorton Private Capital.
The company now has 10 staff, increased from three people which it had when the firm launched in 2018.
After the office opening, Celtic Financial Planning wants to reach £100m ($140m, €116m) in managed funds in the next year.
Robert Lewis, director at Celtic Financial Planning, said: “We’ve seen an increase in clients in London get in touch after finding us online and they like what we’ve done in the community, corporate responsibility and the ethical space.
“Before lockdown, I was traveling down to London every couple of months seeing the odd client that we have there. It will just allow me to have a base to be able to do those meetings.
“Having a hub in London, which is well connected with the transport links is quite useful.
“My goal over the next few months would be to have a dedicated administrator there to support Cleona and potentially a new adviser that would slot in there as well.
“It’ll be a nice little busy hub looking after new and existing clients, made up of those who Cleona is bringing on board and some clients that we have currently.”
Lewis was keen to refute that this latest move was part of a national expansion strategy.
He added: “We’ve got no plans to go national, it’s not something that we want to do because we very much like the sort of the family office feel that we have.
“I think it just purely comes down to if there are exceptional people with exceptional expertise that are very likeminded that could be a good fit, then we’ll look at it.
“But I’ve got no intention at this stage to have any of other hubs outside of these two because I think where we are in north Wales, we can service a lot of clients in the north west and then London just gives us another base down south.”
In January 2021, Celtic Financial Planning acquired the financial advisory arm of Widnes-based Halton Insurance Services for an undisclosed sum.
Lewis said M&A deals are not something the firm is “targeting”.
“If there was an opportunity where, in the case of Holton, a well-established business looking at their retirement plans and it’s a good fit then potentially we will look at the opportunities there,” he added. “But it’s not something we’re looking for.”
The Celtic Financial Planning director also spoke about the firm’s five-year plans.
Lewis added: “The next stage would be to continue our progress. In November this year we are at the three-year mark, so then we can look at taking the business chartered.
“Then my longer-term goal is to continue building a dynamic team with like-minded professionals. I’m really keen to bring young people into the industry through administrative paraplanner and potentially adviser.
“It’s probably too early to say where the next five years will take us. I do think there’s a massive opportunity for us. I’m not looking to take on debt to buy firms. I want to grow organically, so we’ll just see where it takes us.”