SimplyBiz completes successful £130m AIM listing

Huddersfield-based business advisory firm SimplyBiz has completed its £130m listing on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market (AIM), including a £65m fundraise.

Stock Market listing PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

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 £12m to £44m since 2010. It provides compliance and services to financial advisors and institutions in the UK.

The deal sees nearly 50 per cent of company shares held in public hands, with the placing raising £30m for the company and a further £35m for selling shareholders.

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Independent investment bank Zeus Capital led the transaction, acting as nominated adviser (NOMAD) and sole broker to the company.

Matt Timmins, joint chief executive of The SimplyBiz Group said: “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, his fellow joint chief executive, said: “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.”

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 £10bn of mortgage lending in 2017.

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.

Mr Bate said: “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.”