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Nucleus Financial Gp - Acquisition of certain assets of OpenWealth

RNS Number : 8524D
Nucleus Financial Group PLC
02 November 2020
 

2 November 2020

Nucleus Financial Group plc

('Nucleus' or the 'Company')

 

Nucleus announces acquisition of certain assets of OpenWealth

 

Nucleus (AIM: NUC), a leading independent wrap platform, is pleased to announce it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire the UK business and assets of Genpact Wealth Management UK Limited (which operates under the trading name OpenWealth) as they pertain to Nucleus (the 'Acquisition') for a total cash consideration of £1.5m, funded from the Company's existing cash resources. Completion is expected to take place by the end of the year. In November 2018 Nucleus unbundled its technology arrangements from OpenWealth, contracting directly with Bravura Solutions (UK) Ltd. The Acquisition is the next step in the Company's journey to have increased control over its processes, service offering and product development while continuing to licence its core Sonata software from Bravura.

Based in Glasgow, OpenWealth has provided business process outsourcing (BPO) services to the Company since 2011, including account servicing and administration. The board of Nucleus believes that the Acquisition of the assets that pertain to Nucleus will allow the Company to:

·      further accelerate its product development and automation programme,

·      provide scope to enhance the level and efficiency of its offline service,

·      create new growth opportunities for its people, and

·      accelerate the expansion of its operating margin as it grows AUA.

The Acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing in 2021 before becoming increasingly accretive thereafter.

David Ferguson, founder and chief executive of Nucleus, commented: "Nucleus has continued to grow in recent years, and we expect the greater control afforded by the Acquisition to further strengthen our positioning as we pursue our goal of being the most tech-enabled wrap platform in the UK."

"I'm looking forward to welcoming all of our new colleagues into the business. The Nucleus / OpenWealth combination has worked well for the better part of a decade and bringing the two together will allow us to focus more than ever on developing our online product and offline service. We've always believed that the highest service levels are achieved when the online product is so intuitive that the customer hits the button themselves and on the occasions they are unable to do so, that the offline service is exceptional. We believe that this deal will kick-start our margin expansion and accelerate growth by moving us closer to having the best product offering in our market."

"Today marks the start of a new stage in our journey, a milestone towards us achieving a market-leading position for our customers. Improving the quality and flexibility of what we do will be central to that, and I'm excited by the opportunity this affords us in enhancing the overall user experience and helping us to realise our growth ambitions."

Terms of the Acquisition

Under the terms of the Acquisition agreement, Nucleus has agreed to acquire the business and assets of OpenWealth as they pertain to Nucleus, on a cash-free, debt-free basis in exchange for a cash consideration of £1.5m. Completion of the Acquisition is expected by the end of the year, following customary regulatory engagement and subject to the transition of transferring employees.

As part of the agreement, OpenWealth will continue to provide a restricted range of services to Nucleus for a period of approximately 15 months under a transitional services arrangement.

The OpenWealth staff that currently provide services to Nucleus will transfer to the Company, taking the combined Nucleus team to approximately 380 people.

The board understands that for the financial year to 31 December 2019, the OpenWealth assets that pertain to Nucleus generated an EBITDA loss of approximately £2.5 million. The assets being acquired by Nucleus have no material book value.

Analyst presentation

There will be an analyst conference call to discuss the acquisition at 9.45am today, 2 November. Analysts wishing to attend are asked to use the following link to join.

 

~ Ends ~

For further information please contact:

Nucleus                                                                                   Tel: +44 (0)131 226 9800

David Ferguson, Founder and CEO                                                    

Stuart Geard, CFO       

 

Shore Capital (nominated adviser and broker)                      Tel: +44 (0)20 7408 4090

Hugh Morgan                                                                 

Edward Mansfield               

Daniel Bush 

 

Camarco (media enquiries)                                                    Tel: +44 (0)20 3757 4994

Jennifer Renwick                                             

Jake Thomas    

 

Genpact (media enquiries)

Danielle D'Angelo                                                                   Tel: +1 (914) 336 7951

 

Notes to Editors

About Nucleus

Nucleus is a wrap platform founded in 2006 and built with advisers committed to altering the balance of power in the industry by putting the client centre stage. It provides independent wrap platform services to over 1,370 active adviser users and works with more than 880 financial adviser firms as at 30 September 2020. It is responsible for AUA of £16.1bn on behalf of more than 99,000 customers.

The multi award-winning platform offers a range of custody, trading, payment, reporting, fee-handling, research and integration services across a variety of tax wrappers and more than 5,000 asset choices including cash, OEICs, unit trusts, offshore funds, structured products and listed securities, including ETFs and investment trusts. The platform currently facilitates over 1.1 million customer account transactions on average every month.

Nucleus has been awarded CoreData's 'Best medium sized platform' for 2020 (and the last nine years). It has also been awarded a 5-star service rating at the 2019 Financial Adviser Awards, the Schroders 'Platform of the Year' award for 2016, 2017 and 2018 and won 'Best Platform' and 'Platform Innovation' at the 2018 Money Marketing Awards.

 

 

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