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SimplyBiz completes GBP130m IPO

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Business advisory firm SimplyBiz has completed its GBP130 million listing on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM), including a GBP65m fundraise.

Independent investment bank Zeus Capital led the transaction, acting as nominated adviser (NOMAD) and sole broker to the company.
 
Headquartered in Huddersfield, SimplyBiz is an independent provider of compliance and business services to financial advisers and institutions in the UK. Established by Ken Davy, the chairman of rugby league club Huddersfield Giants, in 2002, the firm now employs more than 400 staff, with revenues rising from GBP12 million to GBP44 million since 2010.
 
The firm operates across two divisions: Intermediary Services and Distribution Channels. The Intermediary Services aspect provides compliance and regulation services to financial intermediaries with more than 3,400 directly authorised member firms. The monthly subscription model sees the company work with IFAs, mortgage advisers, workplace consultants and consumer credit brokers.
 
SimplyBiz’s Distribution Channels provides marketing and promotion, product panelling and co-manufacturing services to more than 135 financial institutions. With clients including asset managers, life assurance and pensions companies, mortgage lenders, general insurance providers and credit lenders, SimplyBiz has originated GBP10 billion of mortgage lending in 2017.
 
The deal sees nearly 50 per cent of company shares held in public hands, with the placing raising GBP30 million for the company and a further GBP35 million for selling shareholders.
 
Matt Timmins, Joint Chief Executive Officer of The SimplyBiz Group, says: “Our business has evolved significantly since 2002 and we are now the UK’s leading provider of compliance and business services to directly authorised financial advisers. Through our entrepreneurial culture and clarity of strategic vision we have become a disruptive force in financial intermediation, building a membership base of over 3,400 adviser firms and associated proprietary network of 135 financial institutions.”
 
Neil Stevens, Joint Chief Executive Officer of The SimplyBiz Group, says: “Our IPO on the London Stock Exchange will further raise the profile of The SimplyBiz Group, providing additional momentum to our growth strategy and enabling us to put in place additional incentive schemes for our staff.  We will remain focused on delivering high quality solutions for our customers and continuing to support them in all aspects of running a compliant and successful advice business.”
 
A project team from Zeus Capital comprised of corporate finance directors Dan Bate and Andrew Jones from the Manchester Office and the firm’s Financial Institutions Group based in London.
 
Bate says: “We are extremely pleased to have worked with the SimplyBiz team and the wider advisory teams to bring this well-established Northern business to market. With the strength and depth of the management team, the IPO positions the Group to build upon its historic success, by deleveraging the balance sheet and supporting the company’s long-term strategic growth plans, while enhancing its public profile.”

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