New York-based private investment firm, Aquiline, has spent tens of million of pounds to take a majority stake in a specialist Liverpool City Region financial advisory firm.
Wealth at Work Group, which has operations in Liverpool and Bristol, employs approximately 250 people and works with more than 450 private and public sector employers including Marks & Spencer, BT, Experian and the NHS.
Since its 2015 management buyout, backed by Equistone Partners Europe, the company has continued to achieve rapid growth alongside demand for its services.
On the back of the deal with Auiline, Wealth at Work’s management team – which continues to be led by chief executive David Cassidy – will retain a significant equity stake.
Equistone will retain a minority stake.
Cassidy said: “This investment will allow us to continue to grow and meet the rapidly increasing demand for our services which are used by a number of the largest companies and organisations in the UK.
“I very much look forward to working with Aquiline, whose deep understanding of the UK and US retirement market and track record of supporting technology-driven growth will help us further develop our offering to clients, deliver innovation and set new standards of best practice.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Equistone for the support they have provided so far, and we look forward to continuing our work with them as we take our business to the next chapter.”
Jeff Greenberg, chairman and chief executive of Aquiline, added: “Individuals are facing increasingly complex and important financial decisions as they plan for retirement, which Wealth at Work helps them navigate.
“We believe that David and his team have built a platform that can deliver high-quality, personalised financial guidance and advice to a growing number of workplace savers across the UK in a highly scalable and technology-enabled manner. We are excited about partnering with them in the next phase of their journey.”
Closing of the investment is subject to the parties obtaining relevant regulatory approval.
Evercore provided corporate finance advice and Herbert Smith Freehills provided legal advice to Aquiline.
Due diligence was performed by Oliver Wyman (commercial), Deloitte (financial and tax), West Monroe (technology) and Howden (insurance).
Deloitte’s Manchester and London-based financial services teams provided corporate finance advice and Travers Smith provided legal advice to Wealth at Work in relation to the transaction.