Fintech deals driving financial M&A market

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Scottish law firm, Burness Paull, believes that 2017 will see an increase in fintech-driven M&A activity.

The firm was instructed on more than 200 M&A deals in the last 12 months, with an aggregate value in excess of £6.5 billion. It completed major fintech deals for clients including 1825 and Benchmark Capital, demonstrating the ambition of the rapidly evolving financial services sector.

Burness Paull advised 1825, Standard Life’s wholly-owned financial planning business, on a number of strategic acquisitions.

Steve Murray, chief executive officer of 1825, said:

“Our highly acquisitive strategy is focused on ensuring that our clients’ best interests are at the heart of everything we do. We are constantly developing ways to make it easier for people to plan their finances so they can feel more confident about their future. Investing in new technology is vital to help us achieve this and we have been particularly active in that area.”

The firm also represented Benchmark Capital, an award-winning, technology-led, high-quality adviser support business based in the UK, which secured significant investment from FTSE 100 global investment management company, Schroders plc.

Ian Cooke, chief executive at Benchmark Capital, said:

“Our business has grown significantly over the last few years by focusing on integrated technology and professionalism and we have been actively seeking to partner with a company who shares our values and explore new opportunities. Partnering with Schroders, a FTSE 100 global investment management company, will provide Benchmark Capital with access to new markets and further enhance our proposition. We will continue to improve our technology suite bringing these benefits to our UK clients. As a core owner, I am excited about our future growth.”

Peter Lawson, head of corporate at Burness Paull added: “The combination of a growing number of technology start ups and their disruptive impact, plus recognition from financial institutions that they must adapt and embrace technology, is resulting in a rapidly evolving financial services sector.
“Although inherently cautious, the sector is now engaging with for example, cloud sourced products and services in order to achieve operational benefits and greater scalability. This, combined with regulatory driven open banking initiatives, is creating a far more dynamic environment and will be a defining time for the industry.”

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