MortgagesDec 9 2021

Consolidator with £200m pot buys first broker

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Consolidator with £200m pot buys first broker

Mortgage consolidator Pivotal Growth has started its acquisitions drive with Scottish broker Lifetime Finance Group.

The firm said it is discussing a “significant number” of other opportunities with brokers, and expects to complete further transactions in “the early part of 2022”.

“It is planned that at least £200m will be made available by way of equity and debt to fund acquisitions,” the firm added.

Launched in April, Pivotal Growth is a joint venture between Newcastle-based mortgage advice firm LSL Property Services and London-based investor Pollen Street Capital.

The consolidator’s aim is to "buy and build" a national mortgage broker which prioritises technology, compliance and customer service. 

Its first purchase has a particular expertise in advising contractors and self-employed clients, having existed in Scotland for some 25 years.

David Stewart, LSL’s group chief executive, said he was pleased to be able to finally confirm the deal, the details of which have not been disclosed.

He added: "The Pivotal Growth management team is in active discussion with a number of other brokers that it believes would benefit considerably by being part of Pivotal Growth and we expect to confirm further deals in the early part of 2022."

When the consolidator launched in April, Simon Embley, LSL’s non-executive chair, was announced as its chief executive.

Embley previously led the growth of LSL through a private equity backed buy-and-build strategy before the listing of the business in 2006.

LSL completed £32.6bn of mortgages in 2020 with the help of around 2,700 brokers. It also operates a network of 228 owned and 127 franchised estate agency branches, with brands that include Your Move, Reeds Rains and Marsh & Parsons.

Recent acquisitions of its own included Mortgage Gym and Direct Life & Pension Services.

Fellow joint venture owner Pollen Street Capital positions itself as a European private equity investor. It has invested some £2bn since it launched in 2003.

In September 2020, it appointed former NatWest executive David Jones as its operating partner for technology. Jones had previously headed digital distribution for the bank’s commercial banking arm.