New York investor acquires Liverpool advisory firm

New York investor Aquiline has taken a majority stake in Liverpool workplace financial education firm Wealth at Work which underwent a £50m management buyout in 2015. Tony McDonough reports

Meeting, business, work, office advice
Wealth at Work offers financial advice to employees of more than 450 employers

 

A New York-based private investment firm has spent tens of million of pounds to take a majority stake in a specialist Liverpool financial advisory firm.

Based in the city centre, Wealth at Work Group provides workplace financial education, guidance and regulated financial advice for individuals. It employs 250 people and works with more than 450 employers including  Marks & Spencer, BT and the NHS.

In 2015 the business underwent a management buyout backed by private equity outfit Equistone Partners Europe in a deal worth £50m. Now Aquiline Capital Partners, which has offices in New York and London, has taken a majority shareholding in the firm.

The value of the deal is undisclosed but Aquiline typically targets investments of between $20m and $200m. Equistone will retain a minority stake in the company alongside the management team led by chief executive David Cassidy.

Wealth at Work has achieved rapid growth to meet the significant demand for its services, which are now offered to more than a million employees across the organisations with which it partners.

The technology-driven service is tailored to each client’s requirements through a complete suite of services ranging from seminars and digital tools such as the financial healthcheck through to virtual or telephone guidance services and regulated financial advice.

Mr Cassidy said: “This investment will allow us to continue to grow and meet the rapidly increasing demand for our services which are used by a number of the largest companies and organisations in the UK.

“I very much look forward to working with Aquiline whose deep understanding of the UK and US retirement market and track record of supporting technology-driven growth will help us further develop our offering to clients, deliver innovation and set new standards of best practice.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Equistone for the support they have provided so far, and we look forward to continuing our work with them as we take our business to the next chapter.”

Closing of the investment is subject to the parties obtaining relevant regulatory approval. Aquiline , which has $6.4bn of assets under management, invests in technology, business services, and healthcare.

Chairman and chief executive, Jeff Greenberg, added: “Individuals are facing increasingly complex and important financial decisions as they plan for retirement, which Wealth at Work helps them navigate.

“We believe that David and his team have built a platform that can deliver high-quality, personalised financial guidance and advice to a growing number of workplace savers across the UK in a highly scalable and technology-enabled manner.”

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