UK pensions actuarial, consulting and administration organisation Xafinity is to acquire Punter Southall Group’s actuarial, investment consulting and administration businesses.
The proposed merger will see Xafinity acquire Punter Southall, Punter Southall Investment Consulting and Punter Southall Administration for a combination of cash and shares, predicted to total around £153 million. The merger aims to create a new specialist advisory firm with the scale and service capabilities to offer a pensions-focused alternative to global consultancies within the industry.
The transaction, which will be subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, will result in the Punter Southall Group becoming the largest single shareholder in Xafinity.
The Punter Southall Group will continue to own, operate and invest in its range of specialist businesses across wealth management, workplace saving, and health and protection. In turn, Xafinity’s independent trustee business, HR Trustees, will merge with PS Independent Trustees and become part of the Punter Southall Group to expand capabilities in this field.
The merger, which aims to complete in 2018, will enable both Xafinity and Punter Southall Group clients to benefit from a wider range of services and expertise.
Jonathan Punter (pictured), co-founder and chief executive officer at Punter Southall Group, said: “This is an exciting development for the clients and employees of our actuarial, administration and pension businesses. They will benefit from increased scale and expertise through the creation of the largest purely pensions consulting firm in the UK market.
“As the largest shareholder, we will continue to have a strong connection to this business. At the same time, by combining HR Trustees with our own existing independent pension trusteeship business, we have expanded our offer significantly in this area. For the rest of the Punter Southall Group, the merger provides the resources to invest and drive future growth.”
Paul Cuff and Ben Bramhall, co-chief executive officers at Xafinity, added: “We are delighted to announce the merger of Xafinity and the actuarial, administration and investment consulting divisions of Punter Southall Group. The deal will create the largest ‘pure-play’ pensions consultancy firm in the UK market. We both have a personal and long-standing affiliation with Punter Southall Group, and we believe that the addition of its like-minded and high-quality staff will contribute significantly to Xafinity’s position in the market.
“This transaction marks another significant step in our strategy towards becoming the pre-eminent mid-tier pensions consultancy firm in the UK, with the combination of these businesses providing an expanded, yet focused, offering for clients that will position us as the primary alternative to the big three global consultancies.”