Pensions  

Altus acquired by Canadian firm

Altus acquired by Canadian firm

Canadian software firm Equisoft has bought UK pension and investment management solution provider Altus for an undisclosed sum.

The deal marks Equisoft’s first acquisition in Europe, adding to its operations across North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Altus, which was founded in 2005 and now houses 90 Bath-based employees, will keep its current operations and services.

These include specialist consultancy services and automation software, which serve a client rosta of around 150, including UK high street banks HSBC, Barclays, and Lloyds, as well as insurance giants Aviva, Axa and LV, and wealth management specialist St James's Place.

Equisoft’s chief executive, Luis Romero, praised the firm’s “blue-chip client base”, as well as its “striking industry profile”.

“Altus seemed like the ideal hub from which to expand our European presence,” he concluded.

Equisoft’s flagship products include a software-as-a-service policy administration solution, fund and portfolio analysis, as well as customer, agent and broker portals. 

The 600-person company also claims to be the largest partner of Oracle’s life insurance policy administration solution.

Its latest acquisition secures its foothold in the UK pension transfer market.

Altus' technology automates investment portfolio transfers, pension fund trading, pension payroll and tax reporting. 

Financing for the acquisition was secured through partnerships with Export Development Canada, Fondaction and BMO Bank of Montreal .

Altus’ managing director, Kevin Okell, said his firm had been “flattered” in recent years by “the level of interest” shown to it by potential suitors.

“[But] we never quite met the right partner until now,” he continued.

The executive cited his company’s joint venture with research house Fundscape, called ‘Finscape’, which the pair announced back in May 2019, as a reason for going with Equisoft.

“Given our substantial recent investment in Finscape, Altus was particularly keen to find a partner who understood the enormous potential of this initiative and the critical importance of the role it could play in the investment value chain,” explained Okell.

Altus calls Finscape an ‘investment distribution specialist’. The cloud-based tool has more than 12 platforms supplying distribution data to its intelligence service - the most recent addition being Ascentric, part of M&G. 

Altus’ software manages the majority of asset transfers between the UK platforms which compose Finscape's existence, having bagged its ISO 27001 accreditation back in 2017.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com