28 October 2016Pollen Street Capital appoints Magnus Christensson as Head of Investor Relations

Pollen Street Capital, the financial and business services focused private equity fund manager, is pleased to announce the appointment of Magnus Christensson as Partner and Head of Fundraising and Investor Relations.

Magnus brings 19 years of fundraising and investor relations experience, and has raised over $4 billion during his career. Prior to joining Pollen Street Capital he was responsible for Europe at TPG’s fundraising group and served as Head of Europe for Jefferies Fund Placement Group. Earlier in his career he was a Partner at Atlantic-Pacific Capital Inc. and a Principal at NM Rothschild's private equity business. He also has work experience at Bain & Co and Indevo, the strategy consulting firms.  He has a first class Economics degree from the University of Uppsala in Sweden.

In his new role, Magnus will be responsible for fundraising and investor relations across Pollen Street Capital and he will use his extensive experience to coordinate future fund raisings.

Lindsey McMurray, Managing Partner of Pollen Street Capital commented: “We’re delighted to welcome Magnus as a Partner to Pollen Street Capital. He brings a wealth of fundraising and investor relations experience and joins at an exciting time as we continue to grow and develop our business.”

Commenting on his appointment, Magnus Christensson said: “Pollen Street Capital is one of the most exciting managers in one of the most attractive spaces in the private equity market. They have an excellent track record for supporting and realising outstanding lower mid-market and mid-market financial and business services companies such as Cashflows, Moneycorp, Arrow Global and Shawbrook. I am very excited to be joining a great team at such an interesting stage of their development.” 

15 September 2016CashFlows acquires iCheque to accelerate growth and innovation in the electronic payment sector

CashFlows, the fast-growing and innovative provider of merchant payment solutions, focused on maximising payment success, today announced the completion of its acquisition of iCheque Network Ltd, a high-growth online payments company. The acquisition follows CashFlows’ listing in this year’s The Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100, an annual league table that ranks Britain’s fastest growing private technology companies.

As a principal member of Visa and Mastercard since 2011, CashFlows has been at the forefront of delivering advanced payment solutions to customers in both the UK and Europe. CashFlows’ solutions have been engineered to simplify and optimise the online card acceptance market to deliver faster sign-up, lower cost, and superior service to SMEs across Europe. CashFlows focuses on online payments for merchants through its proprietary Payment Gateway, Merchant Account, Prepaid Card Services and Business Account solutions.

iCheque provides an online virtual payment solution via its Payr brand, aimed at increasing card acceptance rates for merchants’ customers and providing greater security, fraud prevention, and privacy for consumers in their online transactions. The acquisition of iCheque broadens the product portfolio for CashFlows and enables it to continue delivering high levels of card acceptance for merchants, particularly across borders, while also improving fraud prevention and reducing risk.

CashFlows has an aggressive growth trajectory, currently on track to delivery 67% YOY growth this financial year. The company currently processes payments for more than 1,000 customers and powers over 34,000 ATMs across Europe. This exciting acquisition will enable both CashFlows and iCheque to build scale and add product capability, delivering improved acceptance rates and better service levels for its partners and customers.

Pollen Street Capital supported the acquisition, for which FCA approval has been received.

Neil Graham, CEO, CashFlows commented: “We’re delighted to have agreed this transaction. We are particularly excited by the opportunities it offers both CashFlows and iCheque as we continue on our mission to maximise payments success for our customers, and also as we strive to innovate our technology and solutions to challenge established players in the financial services market.”

Caerwyn Prothero, Co-founder and CFO, iCheque said: “We are excited about joining CashFlows. Bringing our offerings together will help us to accelerate growth, provide greater levels of service and focus in the electronic payment sector and to continue delivering innovative new products and services to our customers.”

Lindsey McMurray, Managing Partner, Pollen Street Capital added: “This transaction provides clear and compelling opportunities to expand CashFlows’ portfolio, and to drive commercial growth and differentiation in the increasingly sophisticated FinTech payments space.”

01 June 2016Pollen Street Capital announces the sale of Target

Pollen Street Capital is pleased to announce that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its interest in Target to Tech Mahindra for an EV of £112m.

Target is a leading provider of technology enabled outsourcing and software solutions for over 50 major financial institutions across the globe, including clients such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Barclays and Shawbrook Bank.  The platform manages assets in excess of £24 billion, enabling clients to automate complex critical processing, servicing and administration of loans, as well as investments and insurance. Target systems currently process over 18 million accounts and collect £3billion of direct debit payments each year on behalf of both private and public sector clients.  Under Pollen Street Capital’s ownership, Target has seen its revenue grow at an annual rate of 22% as the business has increased its rate of client wins.

This transaction continues Pollen Street Capital’s strategy of investing in financial services businesses that have the capacity to become market leaders, and follows the recent announcements of investment in Capitalflow, the Irish SME lender, 1st Stop, the UK consumer lender, and the successful IPOs of Shawbrook Bank and Banca Sistema.

Completion is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in Q3 2016.  

25 May 2016Pollen Street Capital announces investment in 1st Stop Group

Pollen Street Capital is pleased to announce a significant investment in 1st Stop Group Limited, the specialist consumer lender, with offices in Blackpool and Durham.

Established in 2009, 1st Stop Group has undergone significant growth across its Secured Lending, Car Finance, Personal Loan and Home Improvement Products, driven by its detailed understanding and experience of the near prime segments of its chosen markets. The investment by Pollen Street Capital will allow the group to continue to develop and grow its lending book whilst also investing in the infrastructure and platform to deliver an excellent level of customer service alongside the detailed and thorough underwriting to build a high quality lending business.

1st  Stop Group will be the second investment by Pollen Street’s third fund, which reached a first close in March 2016 and is targeting businesses where there is opportunity to deliver transformational growth by leveraging Pollen Street’s extensive experience and professional network across the financial services sector. Pollen Street Capital is a private equity fund manager focussed on investing in businesses in the financial and business services sector and has invested over £1.2bn in a range of businesses across all stages of development.

Commenting, Alex Mollart, Founder and Chief Executive of 1st Stop Group, said;

“We are delighted to announce this investment by PSC Fund III. We envisage significant growth in our chosen markets and look forward to working closely with the Pollen Street team, who have a recognised track record in our market space, to deliver on our growth aspirations.

Commenting, Lindsey McMurray, Managing Partner of Pollen Street Capital, said;

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to back Alex, Dave and the rest of the team at 1st Stop to continue the rapid growth they have achieved in their chosen specialist markets. 1st Stop possesses the qualities Pollen Street looks for in its investments, with an entrepreneurial and driven management team, a differentiated strategy and value proposition, and the clear potential to be a market leading business.  We look forward to working with the team to achieve our combined vision for the business”

20 May 2016Pollen Street Capital announces the acquisition of Capitalflow

Pollen Street Capital is pleased to announce the acquisition of Capitalflow, a specialist provider of asset backed loans to SMEs across Ireland.

The Irish SME lending market is poised for expansion driven by strong economic growth and investment. Pollen Street Capital believes there is a compelling opportunity for a well-capitalised, experienced, and nimble new entrant to successfully challenge incumbents who are still struggling with legacy balance sheet and infrastructure issues.

Capitalflow enables SMEs to access capital by utilising the value of their asset base, to support in managing working capital and pursuing new growth opportunities. It does this through offering Asset Finance, Invoice Discounting and full Asset Based Lending facilities. Capitalflow’s focus on quality of service and relationships, combined with its modern infrastructure and experienced team, means it is ideally placed to take advantage of the exciting market opportunity.

Pollen Street Capital is backing a highly experienced senior management team with a strong track record. The team brings with them proven origination capabilities, in-depth knowledge and decades of experience in generating excellent returns throughout the economic cycle.

Capitalflow is the first acquisition in Pollen Street Capital’s new fund, PSC Fund III. PSC’s investment will enable Capitalflow to grow its customer base and scale the lending book.