La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Generation Investment Management LLP’s Acquisition of General Atlantic and H.I.G. Capital’s investment in FNZ

Kirkland & Ellis represented FNZ and funds advised by H.I.G. Capital and General Atlantic on a definitive agreement to sell their investment in FNZ, the global FinTech firm, to La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Generation Investment Management LLP.

La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Generation Investment Management LLP executed the acquisition, subject to regulatory approval, of General Atlantic and H.I.G. Capital’s investment in FNZ, in a deal valuing the company at £1.65 billion. The acquisition, which is one of the world’s largest FinTech transactions this year, represents the first investment by CDPQ-Generation, the unique, sustainable equity partnership announced today by CDPQ and Generation.

FNZ is a global FinTech firm, transforming 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.

The business has grown rapidly in recent years, as its institutional customers have used FNZ’s platform to improve transparency, choice and drive down long-term costs for consumers of wealth management products across all segments: from mass-market workplace pensions to mass-affluent and high-net-worth clients.

Today, FNZ is responsible for over £330 billion in assets under administration (AuA) held by around 5 million customers of some of the world’s largest financial institutions, including Standard Life Aberdeen, Santander, Lloyds Bank, Vanguard, Generali, Barclays, Quilter, UOB, Aviva, Zurich, UBS, BNZ, Findex and FNZC. In total, FNZ partners with over 60 financial institutions across the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia.

FNZ was founded in New Zealand in 2003 by Adrian Durham and FNZC, New Zealand’s leading investment bank and wealth manager. To accelerate growth, the company partnered in a management buy-out with H.I.G. Capital in 2009. General Atlantic provided additional investment in 2012. Today, the company has over 1,400 employees in the UK, Czech Republic, Shanghai, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Around 400 employees are shareholders, who will continue to own about one third of the equity of the company following this transaction.

FNZ expanded from New Zealand to the UK in 2005, initially partnering with Standard Aberdeen and basing its UK operations & technology in Edinburgh. The company was a significant beneficiary of the UK’s global leadership in the consumer regulation of financial advice. The 2013 retail distribution review (RDR) improved fairness, transparency and costs for consumers of financial advice and has been followed around the world, including recently in Europe with the introduction of MiFID2.

Kirkland & Ellis represented FNZ and funds advised by H.I.G. Capital and General Atlantic with a team including London corporate partners Gavin Gordon (Picture), Carl Bradshaw and Tom McCarthy assisted by corporate associates Giles Clifford, Holly Donovan and Jamie Gordon, Munich partner Bernhard Guthy and associate Sebastian Häfele, debt finance partners Stephen Lucas and Ben Myers and associate Harry Briffitt, regulatory partners Lisa Cawley and Philip McEachen and associate Suleyman Siddiqui, antitrust partners Sarah Jordan and Mark Gardner, tax partners Dulcie Daly and Mark Ingram, and tax associate Tabatha Bergin and litigation partners Rajinder Bassi and Richard Boynton.

 

Involved fees earner: Gavin Gordon – Kirkland & Ellis; Carl Bradshaw – Kirkland & Ellis; Tom McCarthy – Kirkland & Ellis; Giles Clifford – Kirkland & Ellis; Bernhard Guthy – Kirkland & Ellis; Sebastian Häfele – Kirkland & Ellis; Stephen Lucas – Kirkland & Ellis; Ben Myers – Kirkland & Ellis; Harry Briffitt – Kirkland & Ellis; Lisa Cawley – Kirkland & Ellis; Philip McEachen – Kirkland & Ellis; Suleyman Siddiqui – Kirkland & Ellis; Sarah Jordan – Kirkland & Ellis; Mark Gardner – Kirkland & Ellis; Dulcie Daly – Kirkland & Ellis; Mark Ingram – Kirkland & Ellis; Tabatha Bergin – Kirkland & Ellis; Rajinder Bassi – Kirkland & Ellis; Richard Boynton – Kirkland & Ellis;

Law Firms: Kirkland & Ellis;

Clients: H.I.G. Capital, LLC; General Atlantic; FNZ (UK) Ltd ;