Brunel Insurance for People’s sister-company Brunel Wealth has announced the acquisition of Bristol-based Academy Associates for an undisclosed sum.

Academy Associates Principal Tom Jones has joined Brunel Wealth and will continue servicing his existing clients while supporting the wider team.

Brunel Wealth is part of the wider Brunel Group and was established through client requests to work with and benefit from a client-centric advice firm, truly independent of any one financial institution, whilst maintaining the relationship with their trusted financial planner. The successes and growth of Brunel Wealth complements the Group’s achievements which has also seen the commercial insurance broking business receiving chartered status three years running, the gold standard award within insurance.

Tom’s dedication to the profession and commitment to his clients complements the ethos and vision of Brunel Wealth, ensuring the highest levels of client service are maintained alongside bespoke, quality planning and advice.

Incorporated in October 2019, with FCA authorisation in February 2020, Brunel Wealth has grown rapidly over a short space of time. The acquisition of Academy Associates also comes less than a year after the merger of North Star Wealth Management into Brunel Wealth.

Group CEO Russell Lane commented, saying “I would like to thank Iain Black and the team on what has been a remarkable first year. The company started trading just weeks before the pandemic and a little over a year later, we are nearly a quarter of a billion under management which is a fantastic achievement.

“Following the acquisition of Academy Associates, I am delighted to welcome Tom Jones to the Wealth team. Tom has a distinguished reputation in Bristol and extensive knowledge and experience within the wealth management sector. Tom will be a real asset to Brunel and will be an integral part of helping drive continued growth through our unique proposition” said Russell.

Tom said, “My business has grown rapidly in recent years and I considered the best way to continue to provide a high level of service to my clients was to join a prestigious firm of advisers who are as committed as I am to providing professional, bespoke and friendly financial advice.  I met with a number of firms and Brunel Wealth were head and shoulders the most suitable option.  They are a fast growing and increasingly significant part of the adviser landscape, particularly in Bristol, and I am really excited to be a part of that in the coming years.”

“Also on a personal note, I worked with MD Iain Black many years ago, and I am fully aware of his own personal professionalism and dedication to providing quality advice to his clients and those of Brunel Wealth. This was obviously an encouragement to join them.”

In what has been the most extraordinary year, Brunel Wealth has seen exceptional growth and now has a 17-strong team of experienced, highly qualified advisers, a head of proposition and client delivery, paraplanners and administrators. Whilst growing at such a rapid rate, despite facing the pandemic, the firm has accumulated in excess of £170m which is a real testament to the exceptional team at Brunel. The addition of Academy Associates takes FUM to £240m.

Managing Director, Iain Black commented “I am delighted that Tom has chosen to bring his business into Brunel Wealth, as it is a great strategic fit with Brunel. I have known Tom for many years and it is going to be great to work with him again. Our achievements in the past twelve months have been exceptional, despite the pandemic, and this acquisition is a further boost towards our growth plans.”

Speaking on the Group’s ethos and client proposition, Russell added “Brunel group of companies all share the same principals – independence, putting our clients first and fantastic customer service. The group is privately owned by the Directors and employees ensuring the values are never watered down. As a proposition for our clients I believe it is a unique within the UK. A complete solution for all our client’s insurance and financial service needs. This allows us to understand their plans and aspirations and map out a complete, long-term bespoke solution. Whether it is investments, exit planning, tax advice, raising funds, personal, business, health insurance or commercial or corporate insurances, our clients have one place to get great independent advice from the whole of the market.”

Brunel Wealth’s sole objective is to provide a bespoke proposition, enabling clients to invest in themselves and their futures. To speak to an experienced, well-informed specialist and to begin safeguarding your current and long-term financial wellbeing, call 0117 456 7418 or email

Pictured: Academy Associates Principal, Tom Jones