Copper Street Capital, the private equity investor focused on lower mid-market European financial services, has invested in regulatory consultancy group, Thistle Initiatives Group Limited.
Founded in 2012, Thistle Initiatives Group has grown into a multi-award-winning regulatory consultancy, providing expert regulatory advice and support for a vast and varied client base of UK and international firms operating across the spectrum of financial services.
The investment will support the long-term growth of Thistle Initiatives Group, with a goal to more than double in size over the next three years through both organic growth and acquisition. Thistle is well placed to become a leader in the rapidly growing compliance consultancy market, due to its expertise across key areas impacted by structural tailwinds in the sector such as consolidation, the growth of fintech and an increased focus on financial crime and regulatory changes following Brexit.
The transaction marks Copper Street Capital’s fifth investment, as it continues to expand its reach across lower mid-market European financial services. Its wider portfolio includes Lantern, a leading player in the UK speciality finance debt purchase market, One Four Nine Group, an independent UK financial advice and fund management group and Saranac Partners, a private office providing bespoke advice and investment management services to ultra-high net worth clients.
The investment builds on a strong period of activity for Copper Street Capital, having announced last month the successful divestment of its minority stake in Italian mobile payments service Satispay, after initially investing in the company in 2018. Since that investment, Satispay has seen exceptional growth and become Italy’s largest mobile payments provider.
Jerry del Missier, founding partner of Copper Street Capital, said, “Since launching Copper Street Capital, we’ve continued to invest in exceptional businesses across the spectrum of financial services – so we are pleased to welcome Thistle Initiatives Group into the Copper Street family.
“Having worked with Thistle over the past few years as clients, we have continuously been impressed with their work and the scale of their ambition. We look forward to supporting the leadership team as they continue growing the company into a leader in compliance consultancy.
“The demand for compliance services is increasing in the face of numerous market tailwinds, including significant market consolidation, the growth in financial technology, a higher degree of focus on financial crime, and increased regulator independence as a result of Brexit. Thistle has established itself as an agile multi-disciplinary leader in the sector and is well-positioned to continue capturing market share.”
James Dingwall, CEO and founder of Thistle Initiatives Group, said, “Copper Street’s investment into Thistle Initiatives Group will enable us to accelerate our growth as we look to build Thistle into a market leader in regulatory consultancy, through both organic growth and acquisition. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the team at Copper Street and benefitting from their valuable insight and support.”
Alongside James, Thistle’s senior management team will also include Group Managing Director Sophie Long and joint Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Michael Bellenger.
Justin Bull, Chief Operating Officer and Partner, and Elliot Tahmasebi, Principal, at Copper Street Capital, will also hold seats on the Thistle Initiatives Group board.
Copper Street Capital was supported on the transaction by Proskauer Rose, DLA Piper, PwC, RSM and Oliver Wyman.