Equistone Partners Europe announced it has completed the management buyout of Liverpool-based Wealth at Work, which has 120 staff, from Palatine Private Equity.
Wealth at Work has educated more than 80,000 employees covering a range of subjects from pensions to share scheme diversification and redundancy to retirement planning.
It also offers regulated advice and wealth management services designed specifically for the workplace.
The buyout is Equistone’s first UK investment from its Fund V which closed at €2bn in April and sees the private equity firm take a majority stake in the business.
Palatine, which backed the company in 2011, has achieved a 3.5 x return on investment and will co-invest for a minority stake alongside Equistone and the management team, which continues to be led by chief executive David Cassidy.
Equistone partners Steve O’Hare and Dominic Geer led the transaction and will both join the Wealth at Work board as non-executive directors.
Mr O’Hare said: “Regulatory change and increased pressures for employers to boost engagement with staff is driving demand for services at Wealth at Work. Pension schemes can be highly complex and given the new flexibilities and choices, it is more important than ever that employees are guided in the right direction.
“The company has demonstrated strong growth during its time with Palatine and continues to be the market leader within its field. The business is well placed for continued organic growth and we will also look at strategic acquisition opportunities over the coming months. We look forward to working with the team through the next phase of growth.”
David Cassidy, chief executive of Wealth at Work, said: “This new significant investment into Wealth at Work will allow us to continue to grow quickly and therefore meet the rapidly increasing demand for our services which are now used by a number of the largest companies in the UK.”
Gary Tipper, managing partner at Palatine Private Equity, said: “The business has developed an excellent reputation in the marketplace and has successfully capitalised on the need for improved engagement with employers, so we’re excited about its prospects over the next few years.”