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Utilities firm taps into financial services as it buys The Exchange

The Exchange parent company Marlborough Sterling has been bought by a subsidiary of United Utilities for 95.3m.

The deal sees Vertex Data Science take its first step into the UK financial services outsourcing market.

Vertex managing director Tom Drury says the firm is interested in all three divisions, including The Exchange, which it sees as its “gateway into UK financial services”.

Marlborough Stirling chief executive Mike O’Leary says Vertex understands the strategic fit and has no intention of selling off The Exchange.

Financial Technology Research Centre director Ian McKenna says it would be strange for Vertex to get rid of The Exchange as it would alienate the life and pension providers that Vertex will be dealing with in other areas.

McKenna says: “For financial services, e-commerce has become a utility, as important as water or electricity, so it is apt that a utilities company has taken over The Exchange.”

O’Leary says: “This is a logical fit. Our business culture is very similar, with the same long-term commitment to client relationships. They are offering funding and we provide in-depth knowledge and experience.”

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