Cairngorm Capital acquires Munnypot and Whitefoord to launch Verso Wealth Management
Cairngorm Capital Partners has acquired Munnypot Limited and Whitefoord LLP, to launch Verso Wealth Management (Verso), a wealth management group providing financial advice and investment management, powered by a digital platform.
The acquisitions are expected to complete shortly, subject to FCA approval, and mark Cairngorm Capital’s entry into the financial services and wealthtech sectors – a long-held objective of the firm.
Established in 2015, Munnypot provides an online investment service that delivers affordable and easily understood financial advice to individuals. Built to comply with the FCA’s regulatory requirements and connect with the most commonly used industry applications, Munnypot’s award winning technology facilitates financial planning, supports product selection and automates client servicing, all enabled by a straight through processing engine.
Whitefoord combines discretionary investment management services and financial advice to provide private clients, trusts and pension funds with a comprehensive wealth management service. Founded in 2000, it offers highly personalised advice, with bespoke portfolios comprising a wide range of investment strategies. It operates its own SIPP, ISA and trust corporation so that its clients can enjoy comprehensive solutions for all their financial planning needs. It recently launched a family office service to meet all the financial and estate planning needs of wealthy families. Based in London with a team of 31 advisors, investment professionals and support staff, it manages investment portfolios valued in excess of GBP300 million and provides advice on assets exceeding GBP310 million, as at Q1 2021.
Cairngorm Capital is partnering with an expert management team led by Andrew Fay and Simon Redgrove1, who will lead the Verso Group as Chief Executive and Managing Director respectively. Vince Whitefoord, Whitefoord’s Chief Executive, will join Verso’s executive team, leading its discretionary investment management business. Warren Gee, Cairngorm Capital’s Chief Portfolio Officer, joins Verso’s Board as a non-executive director bringing extensive experience of delivering rapid growth and transformation within the investment platforms sector, gained from his involvement with FNZ, where he was previously UK CEO.
Whitefoord is the cornerstone of a series of planned investments within the investment management and IFA space and Verso is in advanced negotiations with a number of bolt-on targets. Cairngorm Capital’s buy, build and transformation expertise will support Verso’s management to execute an accelerated growth strategy, to build a market leading, digital wealth management group.
Verso’s approach will blend the expertise of its client advisors and investment professionals with an automated advice capability, to provide a high quality and cost effective service to existing and new customers, tailored to their individual circumstances and requirements. The model will support a broader spectrum of customers, including the sizeable segment of the population that has been underserved to date, such as small savers and new investors. For advisors, the technology proposition will alleviate many of the regulatory and operational challenges impacting the IFA community, allowing them to spend more time focused on their clients.
This is Cairngorm Capital’s 35th proprietary investment since 2016 and the fifth for its third fund, Cairngorm Capital III, which is scheduled to close later this summer. The firm’s investment was led by Neil McGill and Lucy Graham. McGill says: “Our firm believes that the parallel trends of the increased complexity of consumers’ advice needs, their growing adoption of digital services and rising automation in wealth management will endure over the long term. The combination of award winning technology, high quality advice and an exceptional management team ensures that the Verso Group is well placed to capitalise on this. We are delighted to be able to partner with Andrew, Simon, Vince and their teams.”
Andrew Fay, Verso’s Chief Executive, says: “Verso will make it far easier for advisors to maximise efficiency, reduce compliance risk and increase revenue. Our goal is to become the leading digitally driven IFA consolidator and there’s no limit to our ambition. We would invite any IFA firm that is interested in learning more, to contact us. We are really excited to be partnering with the team at Cairngorm Capital. They have invaluable operational and investment experience in the sector, which we look forward to drawing on. Together as partners, we will have the resources and the expertise to make Verso Wealth Management a very exciting business for IFA’s to come and be part of.”
Simon Redgrove, Verso’s Managing Director, adds: “The need for good quality, affordable financial advice and investment services has never been greater. Our goal is to make this advice available to everyone – not just the wealthy. Already people from all walks of life, use our proprietary technology to buy the core financial products they need; our partnership with Whitefoord will broaden both the types of clients we are able to serve and the range of investment solutions that we are able to recommend.”
Vince Whitefoord, Chief Executive of Whitefoord, says: “Partnering with Verso is an obvious choice for us and the natural evolution