Wealth advisory firm Fairstone hires Chief Development Officer as it looks to grow

Lee Hartley (L) and Steve McNicol

Fairstone, one of the UK’s fastest-growing wealth advisory firms, recently announced the appointment of leading executive Steve McNicol, who joins the business as Chief Development Officer.

Steve, who has more than two decades experience holding senior management positions in the North East’s legal sector, joins Fairstone from prominent law firm Ward Hadaway. Prior to this, Steve was Managing Partner at Muckle LLP for 11 years and across that period drove double-digit growth, culture change and financial success.

Steve’s appointment follows Fairstone recently announcing the completion of its 50th acquisition and surpassing £100m revenues. He takes up his new role at Fairstone in May and will be instrumental in further accelerating the organisation’s M&A activity.

Fairstone CEO Lee Hartley said: “We have worked with Steve as a client for many years and I have always wanted an opportunity to bring him on board. I know exactly what his strengths are, and I’m absolutely delighted that he is now joining Fairstone’s leadership team to help us gear up for the next stage of our strategy.

“Steve brings outstanding experience and knowledge to the business and his passion for driving positive change is clear. He is exceptional at developing strong relationships with business partners and this has played a central part in every role that he has held. Adding this skill set to our M&A function will enable us to take our acquisition plans onto another level.

“Steve joining us will further strengthen our M&A team as we increase our bandwidth and acquisition activity. His added wealth of business strategy and management experience makes him an excellent fit for Fairstone.”

A prominent figure across the legal profession, Steve started his career as a solicitor working in the City and following a secondment to Deloitte, subsequently focused more on strategic roles.

Successfully building a respected banking team led to Steve being appointed as Managing Partner at Muckle LLP at the age of 34, the youngest Managing Partner of any law firm in the UK at that time.

Steve said: “I have known Lee and the business for a long time, and we share the same strong values and cultural beliefs, particularly in relation to client service and investment in people, which is crucially important.

“Fairstone has a highly differentiated offering which is very attractive to a sector that is undergoing very significant change. Providing an opportunity for culturally aligned businesses to realise their full growth potential through working in partnership with Fairstone, without ever compromising client service, is a genuinely unique proposition.

“To be joining such a well-established and forward-thinking business is hugely exciting and I’m extremely pleased to play a part in Fairstone’s ongoing growth and success.”

Fairstone will also be announcing another senior appointment in due course with the addition of a Corporate Finance Director to its greatly enhanced Mergers and Acquisitions operation.

Headquartered in Newcastle, Fairstone incorporates one of the UK’s largest Chartered financial planning firms, with 42 locations, 400 regulated advisers and 410 operational staff. The business now oversees £13 billion in investment assets on behalf of 40,000 wealth clients.

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