IFG Pensions Unit Bought by Willis
IFG Group plc has sold its Irish pension and financial advisory businesses to Willis Ireland, part of NYSE-listed Willis Group Holdings.
Around 100 IFG staff will transfer to Willis Ireland, which currently employs 284 people across five offices. The companies being acquired in Ireland from IFG Group are:
+ IFG Pensco Ltd, a leading pensions consultancy and administration business.
+ Retirement Strategies Ltd and IFG Private Clients Ltd, which are both financial advisory companies.
+ Planlife Trustee Services Ltd, a professional trustee company.
+ Trade Credit Brokers Ltd, a trade credit broking business.
Tim Wright, CEO of Willis International, and leader of Willis' global Human Capital and Benefits practice, said: “This is the latest addition to our expanding global practice and reflects our commitment to this exciting area and to the Irish market.
“We see the potential for strong growth in the Irish human capital and benefits sector, boosted by changing demographics and a rising awareness of the need to save for retirement. These acquisitions have an excellent pedigree and will help broaden and deepen our existing presence both in Ireland and worldwide.”
Brian Curtis, CEO of Willis Ireland, said: “This acquisition reinforces Willis' position by complementing and strengthening our current business. The addition of such a high calibre team of experts further enhances our service to existing and future clients.”
Gary Owens (right) and Brian Curtis
Gary Owens, IFG Group Director and CEO of IFG Ireland, said: “We see this as being very positive for clients and staff. Combining the two businesses enables our clients to gain from access to global resources delivered by local expertise and personalised service. It will also expand the range of services available to clients.”
Following the completion of the transaction, Owens will become Head of the combined Pension and Human Capital and Benefits business of Willis Ireland.
Willis is paying IFG a maximum consideration of €13.5m for the business (€11.5m on completion and €2m deferred). The business made a profit of £0.1m in H1. The non-core general insurance business is not included but separate discussions to sell this are underway.
IFG's sole focus will now be on its the UK retirement solutions and IFA divisions, James Hay and Saunderson House. Interims announced today showed strong growth in clients and assets at both UK businesses.
According to broker Davy, adjusted operating profits in the core UK business were £5.1m in the half, down from £5.6m in H1 2013. The reduction is attributed to the ongoing investment in the business, primarily in people and technology.
Net of central overheads, adjusted operating profit of £4.3m compares with £5.2m a year ago. Adjusted EPS for the continuing businesses of 2.8p compares with 3.7p in H1 2013. (August 2014)