Smith & Williamson and Rathbones to merge?

Top 10 firm Smith & Williamson and investment firm Rathbones Brothers are in advanced stages of talks for a potential merger that would give the combined company a value of £2bn. The merger would take the form of a takeover by Rathbone, and would bring together 3,000 employees across both firms.

Rathbones has a market value of £1.4bn and £36.6bn in assets under management. Smith & Williamson are valued at £600m and have funds under management and advice worth £19bn. This would give them a combined wealth of assets worth over £55bn. It is not clear who would lead the company following the merger.

In a statement, Rathbones confirmed talks were ongoing: “Whilst these discussions have been underway for some time and the boards of both Rathbones and Smith & Williamson are confident that the combination would bring meaningful benefits for the stakeholders of both businesses, discussions are ongoing and there can be no certainty any transaction will be agreed.”

Smith & Williamson made comments echoing those of Rathbones, confirming that talks were ongoing but that there were no guarantees that a deal will be reached.

Both firms said that any decision would be subject to the approval of shareholders.