Friday 6 August 2021 9:28 am

FCA approves James Hay's Nucleus acquisition, creating £47bn mega-platform

Pensions provider James Hay gained the nod of approval from the UK’s financial regulator for its £145m acquisition of investment platform Nucleus, in one of the biggest UK deals in years.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved Hay’s purchase of Nucleus on Friday, paving the way for their creation of a mammoth financial adviser platform with a combined £47bn assets under administration (AUA).

As of 30 June, Hay will bring £28.3bn AUA to the merger while Nucleus will bring £18.9bn.

A separate statement on London’s Stock Exchange confirms James Hay’s offer for Nucleus is now unconditional and the outstanding shares can be acquired.

It comes after the proposed deal received approval from the equivalent of around 92 per cent of Nucleus’ shareholders on 5 May.

Both platforms will continue to operate independently “for the forseeable future” while integration plans are developed, the companies said in a statement.

But eventually the acquisition will see the two firms’ operations merged, creating a financial planning and retirement-focused mega-platform for the financial adviser market that will be led by Hay’s current chief executive officer Richard Rowney.

“We see this as a coming together of the very best parts of both businesses, building on our retirement expertise and their digital capability to develop a service that truly meets the needs of advisers and their customers,” said Rowney.

Nucleus CEO David Ferguson, who launched the business in 2006, said: “We have full respect for the challenges ahead and are energised by the goal of working with our new colleagues to create the UK’s most respected and successful adviser platform.”