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Xafinity deal to challenge ‘big three’

Xafinity deal to challenge ‘big three’

Mark Dunne
Friday 8th December 2017

A potential £153m acquisition looks set to challenge the dominance of the ‘big three’ pension consultancies.

Xafinity has agreed to buy the actuarial, administration and investment consulting businesses of rival mid-market firm Punter Southall.

If regulators and shareholders approve the cash and equity deal next year, it will create the largest pure-play pension consultancy in the UK, generating £100m of revenue from serving 1,000 companies.

The increased size and profile of the firm will make it the primary alternative to global consultancies Willis Towers Watson, Aon Hewitt and Mercer, the acquirer believes.

Under the terms of the agreement, Xafinity will transfer HR Trustees to Punter Southall, which post-completion will focus on workplace pensions, wealth management and advising on health and protection.

In a statement, Xafinity joint chief executives Paul Cuff and Ben Bramhall described the transaction as a significant step in a strategy to make the firm the pre-eminent mid-tier pension consultancy in the UK.

Punter Southall chief executive John Batting welcomed the deal, especially as it will increase the firms’ scale and expertise.

“I am confident that our current employees will benefit from this unique opportunity to be part of a publicly listed company poised for an exciting growth journey,” he added.

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