The move comes at the end of months of speculation that a number of firms were circling around the independent investment managers and financial adviser founded by majority shareholder John Spiers back in 1986.
The terms of the deal for BestInvest – which looks after some £3.7bn in client assets – are undisclosed, while Spiers claims that it was the right time for him to sell a large part of his shareholding in the firm.
He says: “After much careful thought I’ve decided that this would be an appropriate time for my family and me to sell a large part of our shareholding in Bestinvest. While I believe the opportunities for Bestinvest are greater than ever, it makes little sense for so much of the share capital to be owned by a largely passive shareholder who is becoming more interested in capital preservation than future growth.”
“My decision to accept a bid from 3i was heavily influenced by the respect for our culture of independence and willingness to back our existing management team. 3i clearly understands the wealth management sector and our business and therefore quickly became the most obvious partner for Bestinvest. Selling to a product provider was never a realistic option.”
BestInvest chief executive officer Andrew Barnes will continue in his role having taken over from Spiers earlier this year.
Founded back in 1945, 3i has completed some 150 IPOs in the past ten years alone with the FTSE100 company having a market capitalisation of £4.4bn.
3i Partner and head of financial services Peter Gordon says: ““We believe Bestinvest offers one of the most exciting opportunities in the UK financial services sector. The company is one of few financial advisers with a profitable, robust and scalable business model. Bestinvest has a high quality and loyal client base along with an excellent brand and reputation.”
“It will be strictly business as usual for both Bestinvest clients and staff. We plan to enhance rather than significantly change a winning formula.”