The deal would see Xafinity acquire the holding company of the actuarial consulting, pensions admin and investment consulting businesses of Punter Southall Group. The news comes as a jump in half year profits was announced by Xafinity.
The acquisition would see three businesses of Punter Southall combined with Xafinity’s existing businesses. As part of the deal Xafinity’s HR Trustees business would be sold to Punter Southall Group.Xafinity says that the addition of these complementary divisions to the Xafinity group is anticipated to enable the enlarged group to become the largest “pure play” pensions consulting firm in the UK, outside of the global consultancies.
Xafinity says that there will be no job losses or office closures and the acquistion is scheduled to take place by January.
Paul Cuff, co-CEO of Xafinity plc, said: “The announcement today regarding the transaction with Punter Southall is very exciting news for everyone at Xafinity, and it follows a successful period for the company built on the back of a series of impressive client wins.
“We have a very clear strategy to build market share in the pensions advisory space, and the merger of these three divisions from PS Group with Xafinity will enable us to achieve our aim of becoming the clear alternative to the Big Three in the pensions consultancy sector.”
For the half year, Xafinity reported revenue of £26.6m, a 2% increase when compared with the prior year. Pre-tax profit increased by 188% to £4.9m. An interim dividend of 2.1p per share was declared by the board.
Xafinity, which has more than 400 employees in Reading, Leeds, Stirling, Belfast, London and Manchester, says it has added five more annuity client wins in the six months ended 30 September, introduced ‘Radar’ pensions technology to 40 clients and supported the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation into the investment consultancy sector.
Ben Bramhall, co-CEO of Xafinity plc, said: “The company’s performance since 31 March 2017 has been pleasing, and I would like to thank all of our employees for their hard work as the business continues to build momentum as a publicly listed company.
“The investment consultancy industry is currently undergoing a period of increasing scrutiny from the CMA, and we fully support the regulators decision to explore ways in which the industry can work more effectively. We believe this investigation will be hugely beneficial to pension schemes and trustees, and we look forward to sharing our recommendations with the CMA on how the industry can improve.”
Editor's Note, 07.12.17, 10.45 am. Story updated to add confirmation of no job losses or office closures.