Punter Southall is merging its actuarial, investment and administration businesses with Xafinity, to create what they say will be the biggest pure pensions consulting firm in the UK.
The merger involves the acquisition by Xafinity of Punter Southall Limited, Punter Southall Investment Consulting Limited, Punter Southall Administration Limited and their respective holding companies.
As a result of the transaction, which is due to compete on 12 January 2018, Punter Southall Group will become the largest single shareholder in Xafinity. Punter Southall chief executive JP Batting will be joining the main board of the new organisation as an executive director, and Jonathan Punter will be joining as a non-executive director. Stuart Southall will continue to look after clients in his actuarial role. The organisation will be operated on a day to day basis through an executive committee that Batting will chair and which will include Xafinity’s joint CEOs, Ben Bramhall and Paul Cuff, as well as Richard Thomas and David Watkins.
At the same time, and as part of this transaction, Xafinity’s independent trustee business, HR Trustees, will merge with Punter Southall Independent Trustees and become part of the Punter Southall Group.
Bramhall and Cuff started their careers with Punter Southall, before taking on other senior roles in the industry.
The combined organisation will have 900 employees in 15 offices across the UK.
A statement from Punter Southall says the merger will enable the new entity to compete at the highest level, and ‘offer a genuine pensions-focussed alternative’ to the larger, global businesses in the sector.
Cuff says: “The announcement today regarding the transaction with Punter Southall is very exciting news for everyone at Xafinity, and it follows a successful period for the Company built on the back of a series of impressive client wins. We have a very clear strategy to build market share in the pensions advisory space, and the merger of these three divisions from PS Group with Xafinity will enable us to achieve our aim of becoming the clear alternative to the Big Three in the pensions consultancy sector. The trading environment for Xafinity remains strong, while the pipeline of new business continues to offer real growth opportunities, and we look forward to the rest of the year with confidence.”