Private equity firm snaps up adviser platform

Private equity firm snaps up adviser platform

A private equity firm has entered the adviser platforms market with its acquisition of Wealthtime.

Wealthtime announced today (February 12) it was to be acquired by AnaCap Financial Partners, a move which will bring three new members to Wealthtime’s senior team and mark AnaCap’s first investment in the UK platform industry.

According to Wealthtime, the initial business focus after the acquisition will be on growing the business organically by "enhancing" the adviser experience.

The funds will be channeled to overhaul the user interface, streamline processing, diversify the products on offer and ultimately support more advisers by delivering “exceptional service”.

In the longer term Wealthtime will consider making further acquisitions to support growth.

The pace of merger and acquisitions activity in the platforms market is expected to pick up in the future, but market participants have recently warned a combination of the right staff and culture is needed to make the transition work.

Wealthtime, founded in 2006, has so far grown organically to manage £2bn assets under administration.

The trio set to join the team — Patrick Mill, incoming chief executive, Richard Denning, incoming chief operating officer, and Dominic Easton, incoming financial director — will join existing commercial director Lucy Bristow to form the senior executive team.

Steve Payne, who built the proprietary technology, and Damian Baker, who heads up the customer service proposition, are also remaining with the business while Jan Regnart, founder and current chief executive, and Colin McCarthy, compliance director, will transition into consultancy roles.

Mr Mill said: “Combining best in class service and industry leading technology under one roof, Wealthtime is a unique proposition in the platform market. 

“Over the years, the company has built an enviable reputation among advisers. Now, with the right investment, there is a clear opportunity to scale-up the business transforming the customer experience, enhancing the platform and reaching more of the adviser market.”

Ms Regnart said Wealthtime had been founded from the belief the best advisers deserved an exceptional service from their platform, adding she was “incredibly proud” of what the firm had achieved.

She added: “We are fully committed to ensuring a smooth transition for our team, our advisers and their clients through the coming months.”

Nassim Cherchali, managing director at AnaCap, said: “Wealthtime is widely recognised in the IFA community for its high-quality service offering, while already showcasing an impressive customer base that has largely been established through word of mouth alone to date.

“We are very excited to implement the first stage of our plan to invest in the company’s sales and distribution platform as well as to work with management in implementing the targeted buy and build strategy for 2020 and beyond.”

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