The significant acquisition consolidates the combined FNZ-JHC group’s position as the most reliable and trusted technology provider to the UK wealth management and broking platform sector.
FNZ, the global financial technology company, has acquired JHC Systems Ltd (JHC), a leading UK-based provider of platform software to the wealth management industry.
As well as realising significant synergy opportunities, the acquisition results in the combined group becoming one of the top broking platforms in the UK, by bringing together FNZ’s and JHC’s respective existing customers in this market.
JHC, which is headquartered in London, provides the core technology platform to a number of the UK and Ireland’s top wealth managers and platforms including AJ Bell, Alliance Trust Savings, Brooks Macdonald, Charles Stanley, Davy, FIS Platform Securities, Interactive Investor, LGT Vestra and Quilter. Its established software solutions – JHC Figaro (Figaro), JHC Neon (Neon), and JHC Xenon (Xenon) – facilitate more effective portfolio management, account administration, regulatory compliance and risk analysis for clients and financial advisers.
The independent firm, which was founded in 1988 and is owned by its founders and employees, has established a loyal customer base over its 30 years in business. It has developed a leading market position in the UK, with more than half a million end users and £160bn in assets under management on platforms powered by JHC software. They employ around 240 people at its offices in London, Birmingham, Newcastle and Dubai.
FNZ is a global FinTech firm, employing 1,600 people to help transform the way financial institutions serve their wealth management customers. It partners with banks, insurers and asset managers to help consumers better achieve their financial goals and is responsible for more than £380 billion in assets under administration, held by around seven million customers of some of the world’s largest financial institutions.
Adrian Durham, Chief Executive of FNZ, said: “JHC has a market leading and well-established technology platform in the UK, combined with new state-of-the-art digital solutions.”
“We see a great opportunity to not only consolidate our combined position in the UK market, but to take JHC technology propositions into new strategic territories – such as APAC and continental Europe – and into new product areas.”
“JHC’s founders and management team have done a fantastic job in developing a loyal client base of more than 60 financial institutions across all asset classes, currencies and instruments. We look forward to working with their team to maximise the potential of JHC’s business over the coming years.”
John Blackman, Chief Executive at JHC, said: “Joining forces with FNZ is the perfect way for us to grow our business. It is great news for our clients as FNZ is committed to investing in Figaro, Neon and Xenon and supporting our plans for the future.
“FNZ will support JHC in enhancing and growing our SaaS offerings and gives JHC the opportunity to offer new, broader functionality to our clients.”
“This deal will provide the scale required for JHC to compete in the increasingly competitive fintech world, particularly in wealth management where regulatory compliance and cyber security are of utmost importance.”
Following a rigorous selection process, JHC were expertly guided by a team from technology M&A advisors Acuity.
John Blackman, CEO at JHC:
“We chose Matt and the team from a list of the best mid-market technology advisers in the market based on chemistry, experience and their broad advisory-led approach. Acuity have delivered an outstanding result, coupled with multiple strategic and investment options, against the backdrop of a hugely competitive process. I would recommend Acuity to technology entrepreneurs and investors, particularly in our domains of software and fintech. We found significant value in their candid advice, dedication and deep sector insight focused on delivering a fantastic result.”
Paul Brennan, Chairman at JHC:
“The whole Acuity Team (especially Matt and David) were instrumental in supporting all the Shareholders and the Executive team from the initial engagement to the final closure. They ensured through a very hands on approach that we benefited from their insights and timely application of tactical activities. The team were able to drive a highly competitive process across a broad set of global prospects. Coaching and feedback were a key part of the team work that helped us all achieve an excellent result. All stakeholders were thrilled with the result and felt their expectations had been exceeded by the Acuity Team.”
Matt Stamp, Partner at Acuity Advisors:
“Congratulations to John, the team and all the shareholders on this pivotal transaction in the sector. It has been a pleasure leading our team and advising JHC throughout our relationship. We have thoroughly enjoyed working closely with JHC, both well ahead of a process and then delivering a great outcome for all parties against a backdrop of significant global interest and strong consolidation across the market. JHC’s shareholders have built a unique software platform and with FNZ’s support, I expect continued leadership in the UK market to be coupled with broader technology solutions applicable to global clients and new markets.”
Richard Baker, Managing Partner at Acuity Advisors:
“JHC’s acquisition by FNZ illustrates perfectly Acuity’s capabilities as a European mid-cap technology sell side advisor. I am delighted that the Acuity team has achieved this result, endorsing Acuity’s strong credentials in the Software and Services sector.”
About Acuity Advisors LLP
We know technology – that’s why we’re the industry’s trusted M&A advisor. Our partners are senior players in tech and M&A: skilled at getting to the heart of a technology business, understanding what will attract buyers, and building long-lasting relationships. We have an unrivalled understanding of the industry’s complexities and personalities – our track record and client feedback are compelling evidence of that. We’re an international firm – most of our deals are cross-border, from offices in London, Munich, Shanghai and Silicon Valley – but we’re grounded in our approach. We move quickly when it’s needed, and we’re around for the long haul when patience is a virtue. We’ve maintained a very high success rate across hundreds of deals while keeping our focus on doing what’s right for our clients. From first meeting to successful exit, we earn the trust that clients and investors put in us.
© 2019 Acuity Advisors LLP
“We chose Matt and the team from a list of the best mid-market technology advisers in the market based on chemistry, experience and their broad advisory-led approach. Acuity have delivered an outstanding result, coupled with multiple strategic and investment options, against the backdrop of a hugely competitive process. I would recommend Acuity to technology entrepreneurs and investors, particularly in our domains of software and fintech. We found significant value in their candid advice, dedication and deep sector insight focused on delivering a fantastic result.”John Blackman, Chief Executive JHC
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