Vertex to acquire 1st Group in IFA portal play

Vertex to acquire 1st Group in IFA portal play

UK life, pensions and mortgage systems firm Vertex is to acquire financial adviser software business 1st Group for a maximum £38.5 million.

1st was launched in 1996 to develop and market software systems for the financial adviser and intermediary community and claims 11,000 adviser users across the UK. Vertex plans to merge the company with IFA portal service The Exchange in an effort to deliver an all-electronic administration system for the adviser market.

Vertex’s parent company United Utilities has agreed to acquire 1st for an initial consideration of £25 million, funded by a combination of cash, loan notes and assumed debt, plus a maximum of up to £13.5 million subject to certain performance criteria being met over the next two years.

Andy Hunt, managing director of Vertex Financial Services says the combination of 1st and The Exchange creates a step change in the online capability of intermediaries, particularly for new business valuation and tracking.

"For the majority of IFAs we will bring to market the first compelling straight through processing system that fully integrates the client facing front office sales functions and back office software."

1st will retain its brand name, becoming part of the Vertex Group within The Exchange. The directors of 1st will report to The Exchange MD David Child.

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