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Sale rumours swirl adviser platform tech firm

The private equity owners of platform technology firm FNZ are reportedly eyeing a £2bn sale of the company.

FNZ powers the Zurich, Standard Life Wrap, Elevate, Embark and Aviva platforms. Quilter is currently replatforming the Old Mutual Wealth platform from DST technology to FNZ.

According to Sky News, FNZ’s two private equity backers General Atlantic and HIG Europe are plotting a sale process that is expected to start before the end of the year.

The two PE firms own one third of the company each with the remaining third owned by the FNZ executive team, led by chief executive Adrian Durham.

The business is expected to be valued between £1bn and £2bn.

What goes on behind the scenes when a platform changes technology?

FNZ’s 2016 results, the most recent to be published on Companies House, show the business more than doubled post-tax profit in that year to £28.7m from £12.5m the previous year.

In 2016, assets under administration stood at £74.4bn for the year, which was a 46.8 per cent increase from 2015.

FNZ has also recently targeted inorganic growth by acquiring German platform Ebase from Comdirect Bank earlier this month.

It has also invested in adviser tech firm Advicefront.

However, the company has been under fire because of the Aviva replatforming, for which assets were migrated in January.

That project has been beset with issues with advisers complaining payments to clients and themselves were not being processed, among other problems. Money Marketing understands some issues are still ongoing.

As well as the adviser platforms, FNZ also backs Vanguard’s direct-to-consumer offering and provides software to Barclays and HSBC.

FNZ declined to comment.

The company was founded in New Zealand in 2004 and now has its largest office in Edinburgh. It also has staff based in Asia and the Czech Republic.

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