Fintel announces acquisitions of AKG and VouchedFor

Fintel, the parent company of Defaqto and SimplyBiz, has confirmed the acquisitions of financial information and ratings provider, AKG, and adviser review site, VouchedFor.

The acquisitions are in line with Fintel’s strategy to “improve the retail financial services market, promote the value of financial advice and increase consumer confidence and trust”, the group said.

VouchedFor and AKG mark the third and fourth acquisitions by Fintel this year, following the acquisitions of learning and development provider, Competent Adviser, and tax efficient investing specialist, Micap completed in July 2023.

Fintel stated that it remains confident in continuing to deliver strategic progress, supported by its strong balance sheet and positive M&A pipeline.

Joint CEO of Fintel, Matt Timmins, commented: “VouchedFor and AKG are two market leading businesses which are highly complementary to our offering and share our vision. VouchedFor is the UK’s standard bearer for Trusted Advice while AKG has been at the forefront of financial strength ratings and consultancy for over 20 years.

“Both have strong adjacencies in terms of our capabilities and customers, and we look forward to further developing their compelling growth prospects.

“We continue to deliver growth organically and make progress consolidating the fragmented software market, providing efficiencies for advisers and creating better outcomes for all participants. With a strong M&A pipeline, underpinned by our balance sheet and cash position, we are confident in making further strategic progress.”

AKG has been acquired by Defaqto to extend its portfolio of ratings and reviews for financial services and investment professionals. Defaqto will draw on resources from across Fintel to invest in AKG and accelerate distribution of its proposition, both within the sectors that it currently operates and adjacent areas.

This transaction was funded entirely from cash reserves with a net upfront cash consideration of £1.6m. In addition, up to £0.4m contingent earnout is based on certain trading criteria being delivered in the first three years of ownership.

Managing director at AKG, Guy Vanner, said: “We are delighted to become a part of the Fintel family. AKG has specialised in company assessment work for over 30 years and has become synonymous with the assessment of operational financial strength from the perspective of end customers, for use by their advisers.

“We are now excited to be able to further expand the delivery of our existing and new ratings and reviews to new and existing customers with the assistance of Defaqto and within the broader Fintel group.”

Furthermore, Fintel suggested the strategic acquisition of VouchedFor can broaden its services to the advice market through its technology and regulatory services platform.

The transaction for VouchedFor was part debt funded with a net upfront cash consideration of £7.5m, of which £6.5m was drawn from the group’s £80m revolving credit facility. A contingent earnout, based on a multiple of recurring revenue generated over the next two years, is capped at £10m.

“I am thrilled that we have found a partner who shares our commitment to championing the value of advice – a mission that is crucially important,” managing director of VouchedFor, Alex Whitson, added.

“Our technology makes it easier for advisers to deliver and showcase great client experience, enabling the public to get the help they need. Fintel’s investment will enable us to accelerate our growth, launch more services for advisers, and enhance our client offering. I believe that the combination of Fintel and VouchedFor will be incredibly positive for the entire profession.”

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