Global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills’ London team has advised Aquiline Capital Partners ("Aquiline") on a definitive agreement to invest in Wealth at Work Group Limited ("Wealth at Work").
Aquiline, founded in 2005, is a private investment firm based in New York and London investing in businesses across financial services and technology, business services and healthcare with US$6.4 billion in assets under management as of 31 March 2021.
Wealth at Work is a UK-based specialist provider of workplace financial education, guidance and regulated financial advice for individuals which works with over 450 private and public sector employers including Marks & Spencer, BT, Experian and the NHS, delivering financial wellbeing programmes and retirement services. Since its 2015 management buyout backed by Equistone Partners Europe ("Equistone"), Wealth at Work has continued to achieve rapid growth to meet the significant demand for its services, which are now offered to over a million employees across the organisations with whom it works. The technology-driven service is uniquely tailored to each client's requirements through a complete suite of services ranging from seminars and digital tools such as the Financial Healthcheck through to virtual or telephone guidance services and regulated financial advice.
Wealth at Work's management team will retain a significant equity stake. Equistone will also retain a minority stake alongside Aquiline and management.
Closing of the investment is subject to the parties obtaining relevant regulatory approval.
The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by senior associate Joseph Dennis and partners Barney Hinnigan and David D'Souza, assisted by associates Sophie Lundsberg and Elsa Mikaelian and trainee Freddy Bouttell. Specialist support was provided by Mark Staley, Stephen Newby, Hywel Jenkins and Dan Saunders (financial services regulatory), Aurell Taussig and James Tryfonos (tax), Anna Law, Marianne Kemp, Michael Aherne, Steven Chua, Kiran Khetia and Paul Ellerman (employment, pensions and incentives), Terence Lau and Rachel Kane (TMT), Miriam Everett and Hannah Brown (data protection), Laura Adde (IP), Andrew Cooke and Sarah McNally (disputes), Dan Hudson, Rebecca Critchley and Will Merry (corporate crime and investigations) and Susan Black and Vassilena Kardakova (competition).
Joseph Dennis commented:
"We are delighted to have advised Aquiline on this important investment as they partner with the management team in the next phase of Wealth at Work's journey. The transaction was a fantastic demonstration of Herbert Smith Freehills' deep financial sector expertise, our strength across M&A and private equity and our ability to continue to execute transactions for clients despite the current challenging global circumstances.”