AN Edinburgh firm of chartered financial planners is about to complete a two-year management buyout that could double the size of the company.

Johnston Financial has been operating in Edinburgh since 1987 and has more than £420 million of assets under management.

Under a new financial structure that will be ushered in next month – when founder and chairman Adrian Johnston sells his remaining 27% stake in the business – plans will be put in place to reach £1 billion of assets within five years.

Johnston’s shares will be bought by business partner John McArdle, who became managing director in May 2018 and will now own 90% of the company. Suzanne Gray, another director, will own the remaining 10% stake.

McArdle said: “Adrian started the business from one room in an office in Northumberland Street back in the 1980s. We are still in Northumberland Street today, but now have 2000 active clients, a turnover of more than £2m a year and occupy three floors of the same building.

“It’s testament to his vision and talent that the company has built not only such deep and loyal client base, but also a strong and talented 18-strong team. All of this gives us the perfect platform to evolve and grow even further.

“After such an impressive career, it was only right that we made sure succession was also going to be as smooth and seamless as possible. Indeed, we’ve been speaking with our clients about this for many years to prepare them.

“What’s most pleasing is that this allows Adrian to keep an active role in the company as he winds down until retirement.”

McArdle joined the business in 1997 as a financial planner, and rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a 50-50 shareholder with Johnston. He said the buyout deal, negotiated by legal firm Rooney Nimmo in Edinburgh’s west end, had been funded from retained profits.

He added: “Interestingly for us, we seem to be the automatic choice for investment professionals seeking financial planning.

“However, in terms of the wider public we have rather flown under the radar. Now the time is right to switch things up.”