James Hay  

FCA gives green light to James Hay-Nucleus deal

FCA gives green light to James Hay-Nucleus deal

The Financial Conduct Authority has given the green light to James Hay's acquisition of Nucleus for £145m.

In a stock exchange announcement today (August 6), James Hay said it had received regulatory approval, stating that the offer is now wholly unconditional and compulsory acquisition of the remaining Nucleus shares can proceed.

James Hay's chief executive Richard Rowney has also joined the Nucleus board, along with the company's chairman Mark Dearsley, replacing - among others - Sanlam UK chief executive Jonathan Polin and Punter Southall chairman Angus Samuels.

In today’s update, it was announced that Rowney lead the combined group, which will have a total of £45bn in assets.

Commenting on achieving regulatory approval, he said: “This deal creates one of the leading, independent, adviser platform groups in the UK with over £47bn of assets under management.  

“We see this as a coming together of the very best parts of both businesses, building on our retirement expertise and their digital capability to develop a service that truly meets the needs of advisers and their customers.”

James Hay said the transaction is now only subject to formalities and therefore the combined group can now work collaboratively to address the changing needs of advisers and their clients.

One of those formalities is the compulsory purchase of remaining Nucleus shares, held by those who have not yet given their approval - which accounts for around 5 per cent of all Nucleus shares.

James Hay has said it expects this to be completed within six weeks, at which point Nucleus will be de-listed.

A statement by James Hay said the deal will create a financial planning and retirement-focused platform and offer a blend of online technology and offline service that can compete in the advised platform market.

James Hay first announced the its intention to buy Nucleus in February.

At the time, staff were also told that job losses at Nucleus could loom, with talk of "moderate" job losses in the aftermath of the deal. 

The Nucleus and James Hay platforms will continue to operate independently for the foreseeable future while integration plans are developed. 

The firm said while this will be a complex exercise, with the more immediate priorities to ensure continuity of service and to deliver a roadmap of enhancements.

David Ferguson, Nucleus founder, added: “Since 2006 we've always tried to do the right thing and put the customer centre stage. Actually meaning that has made us a little bit different from others in the sector but it also carried us to £19bn in AUA and led to this deal.

"We have full respect for the challenges ahead and are energised by the goal of working with our new colleagues to create the UK’s most respected and successful adviser platform.”

James Hay said further details of the combined group’s development plans, including the future leadership structure will be announced in the coming months.