XPS to buy Royal London’s corporate pensions business

James Phillips reports...

XPS Pensions Group has announced plans to acquire Royal London’s corporate pension services division for a cash consideration of £4.8m.

The business provides actuarial, consulting and administration to 150 small defined benefit (DB) schemes, providing pensions for 8,000 members.

The acquisition, which is expected to complete later this month, will see current and future contracts, as well as 46 members of Royal London staff, transferred to XPS.

Pro-forma results for the two businesses as at 31 December 2018 showed gross assets of £0.7m on a cash-free basis, and revenues of £3.9m.

XPS said the deal would significantly strengthen its presence in the market for the provision of services to smaller schemes, as well as “materially enhance” its position in the Scottish market. All of the 46 staff members will be transferred to XPS’ Edinburgh office within a few months of the acquisition completing.

XPS co-chief executive Paul Cuff said: “This acquisition is consistent with our strategic focus on becoming the pre-eminent pensions consultancy in the UK and improves our capability and offering to smaller pension schemes.

“We see this as particularly important, given the increasing need for smaller pension schemes to have access to high-quality advice and technology-enabled solutions in a cost-effective way. We welcome our new clients and our new colleagues to our business.”

XPS was formed in 2018 following Xafinity’s acquisition of Punter Southall Group’s actuarial consulting, pensions administration and investment consulting businesses.

In September last year, the new group bought public sector pensions administration business Kier Pensions.