Wrap acquisition

Nucleus acquired by James Hay in £144.6m deal

David Ferguson

David Ferguson: key role in a bigger story

Financial wrap platform Nucleus is being acquired by James Hay Holdings in a recommended deal valuing the Edinburgh-based company at £144.6m.

It will create an independent adviser platform with about £45bn of assets under administration. 

The companies said it will have the scale to enable greater investment in technology, products and service to meet the needs of advisers and their clients.

Whilst there is no immediate change for advisers on either platform, separately James Hay has entered into a long-term partnership with FNZ for the provision of specialist platform technology and outsourced administration.

It is envisaged that underlying platform administration services for the combined group will be provided by FNZ over time with the migration of some technology and the platform administration of Nucleus’ assets from the existing arrangements onto FNZ’s technology and operations.

The board of Nucleus, led by CEO and founder David Ferguson, has recommended that its shareholders vote in favour of the deal and Nucleus’ largest shareholder Sanlam, which owns 52.19%, has agreed to support the transaction. 

Mr Ferguson’s 3.7% stake is worth about £5.35m.

The acquisition is subject to various approvals, including from Nucleus shareholders and the FCA, and is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2021. 

Mr Ferguson, said: “Since we launched in 2006 we’ve always put the customer centre stage and while that has made us a little bit different, it’s carried us to £17.4bn in AUA and to a point where the sentiment of our users and our people has never been better.

“Becoming part of this enlarged group gives us a key role in a much bigger story where we can create a leading independent platform of scale with a high tech, high touch proposition and philosophy.

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