TLT corporate team acts for West of England financial advice firm in major cross-border investment deal

January 26, 2024

Bristol-headquartered national law firm TLT’s corporate team has advised on a complex investment deal involving a West of England financial advice business which has significantly increased the UK footprint of a major Swedish group.

TLT acted for Bath-based Fidelius on its investment by Söderberg & Partners, one of the Nordic region’s leading financial advisers and brokers of insurance and financial services.

Fidelius, which was launched in 1998, has grown organically and through merger and acquisition activity.

It offers advisory services, including wealth management, employee benefits and mortgages, along with a specialism in advice to returning expats.

As well as its head office in Bath, it also has operations in Cheltenham, Chelmsford, London and Mansfield.

Söderberg & Partners will take a significant minority stake in Fidelius – subject to FCA approval – supporting the expansion of the company and growing its footprint in the UK market.

TLT’s corporate team, led by partner Philip Barratt and senior associate Yervand Agobiani, handled the structuring, documentation and implementation of the investment.

They were supported by head of corporate Andrew Webber along with senior associate James Crotty and solicitor Joanna Grover.

The deal also involved cross-service expertise from TLT’s tax team, supported by legal director William Ngan and associate Olivia Curtis, and Samuel Hill, a managing associate in the banking team.

Fidelius chief operating officer Ian Fowler said TLT had been an integral part throughout what he described as a strategic and complex transaction.

“The team’s patience and in-depth knowledge of navigating complex business structures was central to the execution of this deal,” he added.

TLT corporate partner Philip Barratt said Söderberg’s investment in Fidelius demonstrated the continuing level of deal activity in the financial services sector.

“The wealth management sector in the UK has seen a lot of merger & acquisition activity during the past 18 months or so, and we expect to continue to see both consolidation transactions and interest from foreign investors, which should continue to drive growth and development of the sector.

“It was a pleasure to work with Fidelius Group on this deal. We’re pleased to have reached a successful outcome for all and have no doubt that this transaction will support the continued success and growth of Fidelius Group.”

Fidelius was also advised by full-service investment bank Cavendish.

Fidelius CEO Jim Grant said: “In Sӧderberg & Partners we have found a partner who sees the world the same way we do.

“I am very excited to have Sӧderberg working alongside us to support Fidelius in investing into smaller entrepreneurial firms who require the correct support and resource in order to realise their true growth potential.

“It can be hard for financial planning firms to raise quality investment to allow for growth, but with Sӧderberg we can help make this a reality.

“We look forward to talking to firms, teams or individuals who need a bridge to allow them to build a business focused on growth and future value.

“The whole team at Fidelius is incredibly excited about the next phase of our journey and we are delighted to have found Sӧderberg & Partners to work with moving forward.”

Söderberg & Partners chief executive Officer Gustaf Rentzhog added: “Fidelius is a business with significant upside potential. With a strong brand and an exceptionally experienced management team, I have no doubt that this already successful and growth-oriented business will go from strength to strength.”

Söderberg & Partners recently bought stakes in London wealth manager Vintage and Croydon-based PK Financial.

These followed its acquisition last year of a majority stake in Timothy James & Partners and minority holdings in Cambridge-based Dartington Wealth Management, Generation and Atherton York in London.

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