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Quilter completes sale of international arm to Utmost

As Peter Kenny steps away from the business to ‘pursue different opportunities’

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Utmost Group has completed the acquisition of Quilter International for a total cash consideration of around £480m ($640m, €563m).

This comes weeks after the deal received regulatory approval from several jurisdictions.

The acquisition adds approximately £24bn of assets under administration (AuA) and 90,000 policies to the Utmost Group.

The total cash consideration of around £480m represents the agreed cash consideration of £460m together with accrued interest payable under the sale agreement up to the completion date of £20m.

Quilter considers the net surplus proceeds from the sale to be around £440m and intends to retain £90m of the proceeds “to fund its simplification plans and to undertake selected investment to support longer-term revenue generating initiatives”.

The firm is currently looking “to return the remaining £350m to shareholders”.

UK-centric

Paul Feeney, chief executive of Quilter, said: “Three years on from our listing, the sale of Quilter International completes the reshaping of our corporate perimeter. We have simplified our operating model and removed businesses that weighed on our growth trajectory.

“The proposed £350m return to shareholders following the sale of Quilter International will take the special returns we have made to our shareholders since listing to around £1bn.

“We now look forward to executing the next stage of Quilter’s strategic journey which will be characterised by a focus on growth and efficiency. We are excited about our plans to grow our business, increase operating efficiency and to deliver our target of more than doubling operating profits by 2025 as a modern, UK-centric, focused wealth manager.”

Managerial change

The operational integration of the businesses will now commence and is expected to take 12-18 months.

Quilter International will be merged with Utmost International’s operations in the Isle of Man, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

A single suite of products, combining the Utmost International and Quilter International ranges, will be available to clients going forward under the Utmost brand.

Mike Foy has been appointed chief executive of the expanded Utmost International Isle of Man operations, subject to regulatory approval.

He has been chief executive of the Utmost International Isle of Man operations since the acquisition of the Axa Isle of Man business in 2016 and previously held various senior roles within Axa.

Peter Kenny, chief executive at Quilter International, “has decided that he would like to pursue different opportunities at this time”, Utmost Group said in a statement.

The firm thanked Kenny “for his stewardship of Quilter International until this time and wishes him well for the future”.

Strategy

The company added that Quilter International’s “diversified business footprint and distribution network across the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, with branches in Singapore and Hong Kong and a regulated distribution office in the DIFC, complement and strengthen Utmost International’s existing position in these attractive markets”.

Paul Thompson, chief executive of Utmost Group, said: “I am delighted to confirm completion of the acquisition of Quilter International and would like to extend a warm welcome to our new colleagues, distribution partners and clients joining Utmost Group.

“The acquisition marks a significant milestone in the group’s strategic development and brings additional scale, skillsets and cashflows to the group. The acquisition cements Utmost Group’s position as a leading consolidator in the insurance and savings market and gives the group an enhanced platform to pursue further acquisitions.”

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