National legal business DWF has advised financial services company Wealth at Work in connection with Equistone Partners Europe’s buyout of the company from Palatine Private Equity. The transaction, which is Equistone’s first UK investment from Fund V, is valued at £50m.
Wealth at Work is a leading provider of financial education, regulated advice and wealth management services in the workplace. Established in 2005, the Liverpool-based company has educated more than 80,000 employees on a range of subjects including share scheme diversification, redundancy and retirement planning, and works with a number of FTSE-listed employers and financial services companies.
Equistone Partners Europe has purchased the company from Palatine Private Equity, which backed Wealth at Work in 2011 and which will retain a minor stake in the company. Equistone partners Steve O’Hare and Dominic Geer led the transaction and will both join the Wealth at Work board as non-executive directors, while David Cassidy will retain his position as chief executive of the company.
Jonathan Robinson, partner and head of DWF’s private equity team, advised Wealth at Work on the deal alongside solicitor Katy Philips from the firm’s northwest-based corporate team. Jonathan commented on the deal: “Having advised Wealth at Work on their initial acquisition of the business I am delighted to have worked with the company on the next stage of their development. They already work with some of the UK’s most recognisable brands, and this investment by Equistone will allow Wealth at Work to continue developing innovative services and growing their customer base across the UK.”
DWF’s national corporate team was recently ranked as the UK’s most active in the first half of the year in an independent report by Experian, with the north west team acting on a total of 16 transactions. The strong results follow considerable investment in the firm’s corporate team this year, with a number of key partner appointments Alice Broadfield from Faegre Baker Daniels in Birmingham and Christian Francis from DLA Piper, Patrick Eaton from K&L Gates and Richard Britain from Ince & Co in London.