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Nick Eatock: My future lies with Intelliflo following private equity buyout

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Intelliflo chief executive Nick Eatock says advisers should be left in no doubt that his future lies with the company following the recent HgCapital buyout, highlighting that he and other staff still hold a very significant stake in the firm.   

Last month, Money Marketing revealed that HgCapital had become the majority shareholder in the firm, though by a slim margin. Eatock will remain in his role and retain a “significant interest” in the firm. Another founding shareholder, propositions director Akeel Ahmed, will retain a stake alongside smaller staff shareholders, while managing director Jamie Coats has sold his shareholding and is leaving the firm. 

Eatock says he “kissed a few frogs” in searching for an equity partner and claims the deal offers significant growth opportunities for the firm. 

He says: “My future very much rests with Intelliflo, perhaps on an even longer basis than before. It would have been so easy to sell to trade because we had a number of offers. But, I rolled over a really significant amount of my equity, so my desire to stay to make sure the business grows in enormous.

“Meeting HgCapital it was clear they know the sector and the deal is very good for the business because it allows us to do some of the things we had always wanted to do and we are looking at 5 or six new projects. Some are operational and some marketing but some is propositional and our footprint is going to grow.”

Eatock says that the buyout will not result in staff losses and that he hopes to double the size of business in the next five years. He says last month a record 33 adviser firms joined Intelliflo, bringing the total number of firms to over 1100.

He says: “Some private equity is about reducing costs and selling it on. Growth private equity is very different and if you look at Hg Capital’s growth private equity businesses they have all grown.”

Earlier this week, Money Marketing revealed that Australian firm Iress intends to buy technology rival Avelo for £210m. Eatock suggests that as a result of the deal Avelo’s adviser office product could be replaced with Iress’s Xplan. He says: “It would make sense, adviser office is a legacy technology and Xplan is web based, so it is probably more part of the future.”

He adds that the HgCapital deal opens up the potential for offering services outside the UK, but that any move is not likely in the near-term. He says: “We intend to continue to focus on the UK and the UK is different from other market places. You cannot just copy what you do here and paste it somewhere else, it just doesn’t work.”

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