Simplybiz rewards advisers with share options in float

Simplybiz rewards advisers with share options in float

Financial advisers who use Simplybiz services are to be offered share options in the company’s upcoming initial public offering, FTAdviser can reveal.

The group, which provides compliance and regulation services for more than 3,400 directly authorised member firms paying a monthly subscription, said the options available would depend how long firms had been customers of the business.

Members include 2,200 IFA firms with responsibility for an aggregated £40bn of assets under administration.

Further details of how to register for the options are expected to be available this afternoon or next week.

Simplybiz plans to float on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) next month in a move that will raise £30m at a price of £1.70 a share, giving the company a market capitalisation of £130m.

Matt Timmins, joint chief executive, said the company had decided to do this to maintain its independence as it grows and to buy out some of the stake owned by its founder.

“We’re committed to being independent, so we don’t want to sell to a product provider,” he said.

Founder Ken Davy, who is now 76, will use the IPO to release some of his stake in the business, although his family trust will retain 40 per cent.

Mr Timmins added financial advisers “should only see positive change” after the IPO.

He said the group had recently started offering financial planning software Centra to advisers for free.

“We want to be able to offer more things like that,” he said.

He added the company remains acquisitive and would expect to buy more businesses with the proceeds of the listing.

SimplyBiz said it has conditionally raised £30m before expenses from an institutional placing of more than 17m shares and it will raise £34.6m for selling shareholders through a placing of another 20m shares.

Since 2010 the company's revenues have grown 366 per cent to £44m and it posted a profit after tax of £4.8m in 2017.

The IPO is expected to take place on Wednesday 4 April.