James Hay’s acquisition of the Nucleus Financial Group

    On 5 August, the acquisition of Nucleus by James Hay Holdings Limited received regulatory approval creating a £47bn* adviser platform group.

    Following the approval, our intention and high-level plan is to merge the products and operations of the two companies over time to create a leading financial planning and retirement-focused adviser business. This combination will enable even greater investment in technology, products and service to meet the changing needs of you and your clients.

    Becoming part of this enlarged group gives us a key role in a much bigger story where we can create a leading independent platform of scale with a high-tech, high touch proposition and philosophy. The two companies in this larger group will continue to exist side by side for the foreseeable future and operate largely as they do today. With the legal process now complete, the work to start merging the groups can begin to define the enlarged group’s strategy and operating model.

    The first step in the process is that Richard Rowney, CEO of James Hay, will become the CEO of Nucleus as well as CEO of combined businesses. The immediate priority is then to establish the new group executive team and the leadership structure across the two businesses – this is expected to be complete within three months. In the meantime, the Nucleus and James Hay executive teams will continue to operate largely as they do today until the new-look team is in place.

    While combining the groups will be a complex exercise, the more immediate priorities are to ensure continuity of service and to deliver a roadmap of enhancements. Further details of the combined group’s development plans, including the future leadership structure, will be announced in the coming months.

    In the meantime, we’re pleased to share the great news that, following a comprehensive review of the two brands over the last six months, we have agreed to retain the Nucleus company name for the combined group once fully merged. While we will benefit from a long-standing reputation that James Hay has for technical expertise in the retirement market, it became clear during the review, that Nucleus has a stronger name and brand reputation in the advised platform market and one that the combined group can build from.

    James Hay CEO Richard Rowney will lead the combined group. Commenting on achieving regulatory approval he said: “This deal creates one of the leading, independent, adviser platform groups in the UK with over £47 billion of AUA*. We see this as a coming together of the very best parts of both businesses, building on our retirement expertise and their digital capability to develop a service that truly meets the needs of advisers and their customers.”

    David Ferguson, Nucleus founder, added: “Since 2006 we've always tried to do the right thing and put the customer centre stage. Actually meaning that has made us a little bit different from others in the sector but it also carried us to £19bn in AUA and led to this deal.We have full respect for the challenges ahead and are energised by the goal of working with our new colleagues to create the UK’s most respected and successful adviser platform.”

    Our intention is to let your clients know of the completed acquisition, and we will share this with you in due course and advise of timescales. In the meantime, if you have any other questions or would like to speak to someone, please don't hesitate to get in touch with your dedicated contact or our client relations team.

    *AUA as at 30 June 2021 (£28.3bn James Hay & £18.9bn Nucleus)