The Fenchurch client proposition combines first class sector expertise with leading edge M&A and corporate finance execution.

Expertise Open
Expertise Open

The financial services sector poses unique challenges for clients particularly given the fast changing regulatory environment. Executing M&A in a dynamic regulatory context requires contemporary hands on experience through actually being involved in the most recent transactions.

Financial Services Expertise

We are sector experts and provide advice across all financial services sub-sectors including asset and wealth management, life and non-life insurance, banks and building societies, speciality finance and capital markets. Our industry expertise is the foundation of our business. We have built deep trusted relationships with all key market participants in financial services. This provides us with senior level access and authoritative insight into industry developments at an early stage.

Sell-side Advisory

We have successfully executed sell-side mandates for some of the leading financial institutions divesting business units, assets or their entire company. We are experts in preparing and positioning businesses for a sale and articulating the transaction rationale to potential acquirers. We have a track record of achieving sector high watermarks on sell-side mandates and are able to leverage our independence to operate at the heart of any process.

Buy-side Advisory

We have earned a reputation as a trusted adviser to leading institutions on buy-side assignments in relation to public or private acquisitions. We provide robust, analytical and innovative advice to clients on strategically important and transformational transactions. We evaluate potential acquisition targets, initiate discussions, provide industry specific context, recommend financial and structuring alternatives and assist in negotiations.

Merger Advisory

We are well qualified to assist clients on complex merger transactions with complete discretion and no conflicts of interest and have advised on a number of significant mergers where delicate people issues and complicated valuation parameters require intense negotiation.

Advice Regarding Unsolicited Approaches / Activist Shareholders 

Our team has extensive experience of advising listed businesses regarding unsolicited approaches and dealing with activist shareholders. Our senior bankers provide expert market insight and work with companies to formulate their equity story so that it can be effectively communicated to investors and accurately reflected in the share price as part of a coherent strategy for dealing with unsolicited interest and / or activist shareholders.

Strategic Advisory 

We have carried out a number of strategic reviews for business units, portfolio companies and entire organisations. We provide expert perspectives in relation to potential disposals, organic and inorganic growth opportunities and on-going changes in industry dynamics across the full spectrum of financial services sub-sectors.

Valuation and Fairness Opinions 

We are accustomed to providing discreet, expert and thoughtful advice on valuation exercises and fairness opinions. We have provided independent valuations and fairness opinions relating to management incentivisation schemes, management buy-outs, related party transactions, spin-offs and disposals as well as traditional M&A transactions. The increased scrutiny by board members, regulators and other stakeholders involved in transactions makes our independent advice a valuable component for any board deliberation and endorsement process.

Debt and Equity Capital Markets Advice 

We regularly provide debt and equity capital markets advice alongside our core M&A advice. We only act as an independent adviser and do not underwrite debt or equity issuances, which means that we are free from conflicts and always provide objective advice. We are experienced in running dual-track processes, advising on IPOs and structuring M&A transactions that require sophisticated debt and equity capital markets instruments.

Profile

“We offer clients a powerful cocktail of discreet, trusted relationship based advice combined with first class corporate finance execution. This has enabled us to secure repeat business from some of the largest and most sophisticated financial institutions who are heavily solicited by our much larger and better known competitors.”

Graham Marchant Senior Managing Director

“Our expertise and capabilities are proven and relevant in the UK and internationally. We have initiated and executed numerous cross border transactions which are a testament to our global sector perspectives and diverse team.”

Vincent Bounie Senior Managing Director

“Our client proposition has at its heart senior bankers deeply involved in leading M&A transactions, working with discretion and enthusiasm. This is facilitated by our pure and simple business model where every client is special. The Fenchurch business is not managed by ratios and productivity per head. Our internal criterion for measuring success is the satisfaction level of our clients and their public and private endorsement of Fenchurch.”

Duncan Buck Senior Managing Director

“Our sector expertise and connectivity means that our clients benefit from our strategic insights as well as our deep understanding of a rapidly changing regulatory environment. M&A in financial services needs to be highly sensitive to the complex regulatory and capital impact of transactions, which means that our clients need our expert support in debt and equity capital instruments and markets.”

Chris Deville Senior Managing Director

Case Study

£375 million

Advised AXA on the sale of its UK investment, pensions and direct protection businesses to Phoenix Group.

May 2016 United Kingdom

£12 billion

Advising Standard Life plc on its recommended all-share merger with Aberdeen Asset Management plc

May 2017 United Kingdom

£258 million

Advised Jelf Group plc on the recommended cash acquisition by Marsh.

Sep 2015 United Kingdom

£1.7 billion

Advised Just Retirement on its merger with Partnership Assurance.

Sep 2015 United Kingdom

£140 million

Advised L&G on the sale of Cofunds to Aegon.

Aug 2016 United Kingdom

£295 million

Advised AXA on the sale of its UK P&C commercial broker Bluefin to Marsh.

Nov 2016 United Kingdom

£155 million

Advised Prudential on the sale of its 25% stake in PruHealth and PruProtect to Discovery Group, based on a 100% value of £620 million.

Nov 2014 United Kingdom
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Advising Standard Life plc on its recommended all-share merger with Aberdeen Asset Management plc

Counterparties
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Advised L&G on the sale of Cofunds to Aegon.

Counterparty

Fenchurch is pleased to have advised Legal & General on the sale of Cofunds to Aegon for £140m. Cofunds is the largest investment platform in the UK with £77bn AUA. The sale includes the Investor Portfolio Service which provides platform services to a number of building societies including Nationwide.
 
L&G concluded that Cofunds requires a significant upgrade in technology to exploit its leadership position in the UK platform market and this was best achieved under Aegon's ownership as a specialist wealth platform provider.
 
For Aegon UK this transaction completes its strategic transformation from traditional life insurance to platform business and follows L&G’s acquisition of a £2.9bn back book annuity portfolio from Aegon in May 2016.
 
Mark Gregory, Legal & General Group Chief Finance Officer commented: “We were impressed by Fenchurch’s commitment to this engagement. Their deep sector relationships, intimate knowledge of the UK platform sector and first class M&A execution skills were important factors in successfully delivering this transaction.”

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Advised AXA on the sale of its UK investment, pensions and direct protection businesses to Phoenix Group.

Counterparties

Fenchurch is pleased to have advised AXA on three separate disposals of its UK Life & Savings businesses, comprising:

  • SunLife, the Over 50s direct-to-consumer protection business, and Embassy, AXA UK’s non-platform investment and pensions business, to Phoenix Group;
  • Elevate, the wrap platform business with c. £10bn of assets under administration, to Standard Life; and
  • AXA Wealth International, the Isle of Man offshore bond business, to Life Company Consolidation Group (LCCG).

The aggregate consideration for all three transactions is €832 million.

Paul Evans, CEO of AXA UK and CEO designate of AXA Global Life & Savings and AXA Global Health, commented: “Fenchurch’s advice was important in planning and preparing for the complexity of one, two or potentially three disposals and related separation issues. Their trusted senior relationships, authoritative insights into the M&A market and deep sector expertise were critical to successfully orchestrating all three transactions.”

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Advised Just Retirement on its merger with Partnership Assurance.

Counterparty

Fenchurch is pleased to have acted as financial adviser to Just Retirement Group plc on its recommended all-share merger with Partnership Assurance Group plc, which completed today.

The Boards of Just Retirement and Partnership believe the merger will deliver significant strategic and financial benefits by using the combined group’s outstanding intellectual property and greater scale to accelerate existing strategies, whilst also creating the opportunity for cost synergies.

Rodney Cook, CEO of JRP Group, said: “Fenchurch’s life insurance sector knowledge, in-depth understanding of Just Retirement and senior team commitment were important factors in securing this complex merger and related equity capital issue during a period of considerable regulatory change. Fenchurch’s expert and independent advice helped us to navigate successfully all key transaction issues and align numerous stakeholders.”

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Advised Prudential on the sale of its 25% stake in PruHealth and PruProtect to Discovery Group, based on a 100% value of £620 million.

Counterparty

Fenchurch is pleased to have advised Prudential on the sale of its 25% stake in PruHealth and PruProtect to Discovery Group at a 100% valuation of £620m.

PruHealth was established by Prudential and Discovery in 2004 as a JV offering private medical insurance products, before expanding into the protection market through PruProtect in 2007. The JV generated c.£480m of gross premiums in the year to June 2014.



The transaction has enabled Prudential UK to realise its minority investment at attractive terms whilst providing full strategic flexibility to re-enter the UK protection market in due course.



Jackie Hunt, CEO of Prudential UK, Europe and Africa, commented: “Fenchurch made a very strong tactical, financial and commercial contribution to our team and helped us secure attractive terms for our investment in the JV. We were particularly impressed with the depth of their team and the level of senior engagement throughout the assignment.”

 

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Advised AXA on the sale of its UK P&C commercial broker Bluefin to Marsh.

Counterparties

Fenchurch is pleased to have advised AXA on the sale of its UK P&C commercial broker Bluefin Insurance Group (“Bluefin”) to Marsh for £295m.
 
Bluefin is a leading insurance broker, providing services to private individuals, small businesses, and large corporates in the UK, with approximately 1,500 employees based in 45 locations. It also operates a broker network and a growing MGA business.
 
Marsh will combine Bluefin with Jelf to create one of the UK’s largest insurance brokers for mid-size and SME companies, serving over 250,000 clients in 80 locations across the UK.
 
Fenchurch also advised Jelf on its sale to Marsh in 2015.
 
Amanda Blanc, CEO of AXA UK commented “Fenchurch helped us develop a bespoke and confidential process which resulted in AXA securing excellent transaction terms through an accelerated timetable whilst minimising execution risk”.

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Advised Jelf Group plc on the recommended cash acquisition by Marsh.

Counterparty

Fenchurch was pleased to act as financial adviser to Jelf Group plc on the recommended all cash acquisition by Marsh. The 215 pence per share acquisition values Jelf’s aggregate equity share capital at £258m.

Jelf is a leading provider of insurance, healthcare and financial advisory services to the UK mid-market and SME sectors. Following its establishment in 1989, Jelf was admitted to trading on the AIM market in 2004. Capital Z became the company's largest shareholder through a secondary market transaction in 2010.

Since 2004, Jelf has delivered sustained growth in revenue from £8.5m to £82.6m in 2014. Growth has been achieved through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions. 
 


Joining the Marsh group will provide Jelf with the opportunity to accelerate the achievement of its strategic and financial objectives and will enable its shareholders to realise value today at an attractive multiple.

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