As private equity firms continue to march into the UK wealth and asset management sectors, eyebrows are being raised at the FCA about where the market might end up.
According to Refinitiv data, the UK this year has already seen more than 400 PE deals across all sectors worth nearly $50bn – the highest first-half volume in more than two decades.
The trend has attracted attention – and criticism – from some of the biggest names in asset management. Last month, Schroders chief executive Peter Harrison questioned whether the UK’s governance regime needed to be overhauled in the face of the “raid” on UK Plc from PE groups – a term also used by Janus Henderson fund manager James Henderson to describe the current private equity frenzy.
The asset and wealth management sectors have been a key area of focus for PE houses. As of 8 September, 87 of the 509 private equity-backed M&A deals in the UK involved the financial services sector, according to Refinitiv. This makes the sector the third most popular behind retail and consumer products.
The latest deal was struck on 8 September, as £20bn manager True Potential offloaded a majority stake to London-based Cinven, a sale that came on the back of other high-profile buyouts like Preservation Capital Partners’ bid for Standard Life Aberdeen-owned platform Parmenion.
Deals have also been a frequent feature at the smaller end of the wealth…