"We passionately believe in the enormous value of professional advice and will invest in VouchedFor to grow its market reach"
Fintel, the parent company of SimplyBiz and Defaqto, has acquired adviser review site VouchedFor and provider of financial information, ratings and fintech, AKG.
VouchedFor provides reviews on a wide range of services, including financial advisers, mortgage advisers, solicitors, and accountants and currently has over 5,000 paying members and over 350,000 client reviews.
Fintel says the acquisition, totalling £7.5m, will broaden its services to the advice market through its technology and regulatory services platform.
Also announced today, Fintel’s subsidiary Defaqto has acquired ratings provider AKG for £1.6m. AKG provides independent assessments and ratings of financial strength for a range of organisations including life companies, investment platforms and discretionary fund managers. AKG ratings and reports are made available to advisers and their clients through advice technology, provider channels and directly from the AKG portal.
The acquisition further extends Defaqto’s portfolio of ratings and reviews for financial services and investment professionals.
The addition of VouchedFor and AKG mark the is the latest third and fourth acquisitions by Fintel this year, following the acquisitions of leading learning and development provider, Competent Adviser, and tax efficient investing specialists, Micap completed in July 2023.
Neil Stevens, joint CEO of Fintel, commented: "VouchedFor is an exceptional business with a very important mission – to increase confidence in, and generate demand for, professional financial advice. We passionately believe in the enormous value of professional advice and will invest in VouchedFor to grow its market reach; ensuring the UK’s standard bearer for trusted advice can serve every advice business in the UK.
“We are delighted that the talented team at VouchedFor shares our vision for the future and we are closely aligned in our mission to promote and enable better connections to professional advice. We will be working with the team to take that mission to the next level in 2024 and further announcements of a groundbreaking new service we’ve developed together will be made in the coming weeks.”
Alex Whitson, managing director of VouchedFor, said: “I am thrilled that we have found a partner who shares our commitment to championing the value of advice – a mission that is crucially important. Our technology makes it easier for advisers to deliver and showcase great client experience, enabling the public to get the help they need. Fintel’s investment will enable us to accelerate our growth, launch more services for advisers, and enhance our client offering. I believe that the combination of Fintel and VouchedFor will be incredibly positive for the entire profession.”
Defaqto's CEO, John Milliken, commented: “Defaqto is expanding through a combination of organic growth and acquiring some of the most highly regarded businesses in the industry that have strong adjacencies in terms of capabilities and customers. AKG is a strategically significant acquisition, adding industry expertise, insight and data that is complementary to Defaqto’s. We very much look forward to working with the talented team at AKG to invest in the business and make it an even greater success in the future, enabling more people to make smarter financial decisions.”
Guy Vanner, MD at AKG, added: “We are delighted to become a part of the Fintel family. AKG has specialised in company assessment work for over 30 years and has become synonymous with the assessment of operational financial strength from the perspective of end customers, for use by their advisers. We are now excited to be able to further expand the delivery of our existing and new ratings and reviews to new and existing customers with the assistance of Defaqto and within the broader Fintel group.”