22 December 2017Pollen Street Capital announces proposed acquisition of Miles Smith

Pollen Street Capital announces proposed acquisition of Miles Smith

Pollen Street Capital (PSC) is very pleased to announce the proposed acquisition of a majority shareholding in Miles Smith. The transaction is subject to approval by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Miles Smith is one of the UK’s leading schemes and affinities brokers and can trace its origins back to 1925. It is currently ranked in the country’s top 40 brokers and employs over 220 insurance, claims and risk management specialists, together with customer service and support staff. Its head office is situated in London and it also has offices in Suffolk and Bedfordshire. The Group writes in excess of £170 million GWP annually.

Miles Smith is a market wide problem solver for its customers, brokers, affinity partners and insurers. It leverages strong market relationships and has used its extensive industry expertise to develop quality, complex schemes and solutions for high risk industries, offering them to market through its diverse distribution channels.

The current company was formed following a re-structuring in 2000 under the stewardship of Paul Chainey (CEO). Paul remains head of the company today and, during that time, has overseen a number of successful acquisitions and led a specialist team providing an impressive and consistent organic growth rate.

Paul Chainey – Miles Smith CEO says “PSC offers a great solution for shareholders, staff and Miles Smith’s strong market relationships. Miles Smith has many large and exciting opportunities, which we are determined to pursue with the strategic investment of our new partner and the PSC investment provides a spring board for these opportunities to crystallise and take Miles Smith to another level. Their portfolio of investments reflects values shared by Miles Smith in that they work with expert specialist businesses. They have a good track record of supporting the management teams of their investee businesses and we look forward to a long and successful partnership. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank MS Amlin and our retiring shareholders for their contribution to the business.”

17 November 2017Pollen Street Capital acquires a majority stake in Visionblue Solutions

Pollen Street Capital is pleased to announce that it recently concluded the fifth investment from PSC III LP to acquire a majority stake in Visionblue Solutions, a technology company based in Ireland that provides case management software to support both corporate and personal insolvency practitioners in the U.K., Ireland and Cayman Islands.

Visionblue commenced trading in Ireland in 2002 with the current senior team instrumental in architecting and developing the software.  Since it started, the business has invested significantly in the technology solution that provides is customers with an opportunity to significantly increase efficiency as well as ensure compliance with the specific insolvency legislation in each jurisdiction that the company operates.

The business has a stable and predictable revenue stream plus an exciting and significant opportunity to grow by increasing penetration in existing markets, growing overseas and moving into adjacent markets such as loan management.

Colin Brown, Visionblue CEO says “Pollen Street have been great to work with over the last six months as we built out the business plan and completed the due diligence. The process has certainly made us a better business.  We are the market leading personal insolvency software providers in the UK, where Visionblue case management software is used to manage over 70% of active personal insolvency cases. We are also the market leading insolvency case management system providers in Ireland for both corporate and personal case types. Partnering with Pollen Street over the coming years gives us the confidence to really consolidate our position in existing markets, grow internationally and build out functionality that will support customers in adjacent markets. ”

24 May 2017Pollen Street Capital announces merger with MW Eaglewood

Pollen Street Capital and MW Eaglewood to merge, creating one of Europe’s largest investment managers focussed on specialist lending assets

- Joint submission to manage P2P Global Investments PLC (“P2PGI”) accepted by the Board
- Firms to merge to create one of Europe’s largest investment managers focussed on specialist lending assets

Following the announcement by the Board of P2PGI today, Pollen Street Capital Limited and MW Eaglewood are delighted that their joint submission to manage P2PGI has been accepted.

The two firms will now work with the Board to implement a revised, more flexible investment mandate in line with the proposal submitted to the Board during the investment management arrangement review.

As set forth in the Board’s announcement, the two firms have agreed in principle to merge their operations in a share for share exchange, with Pollen Street becoming the majority shareholder of the combined investment management group, and Marshall Wace retaining a substantial shareholding. The merger is expected to be completed later this year, subject to regulatory approvals.

The combination of Pollen Street Capital and MW Eaglewood is compelling. It will create one of Europe’s largest investment managers focused on specialist lending assets. It will combine the global reach, world class infrastructure and specialist platform knowledge of MW Eaglewood with the relationships, track record and industry expertise of Pollen Street Capital in a merged entity under their overall control.

Lindsey McMurray, managing partner of Pollen Street, said: “This is an excellent outcome – good strategic outcome for P2P Global Investments PLC, and its shareholders. Good for both firms, and good for the industry. The combination of Pollen Street and MW Eaglewood is a very strong investment management entity, bringing deep capability in investment management, risk, compliance, analytics, technology and origination of both to the management of P2PGI and to the emerging opportunities across the specialist lending industry. We are looking forward to working together and executing both the merger and a revised, more flexible mandate.”

Ian Wace, chief executive of Marshall Wace, said: “The Board of P2PGI challenged us to come up with a strategic solution for the management of the trust and to enhance returns. We accepted their challenge and the result is an outcome which is truly transformative, creating a major new industry player with deep and market leading capability in specialist credit. I would like to thank the Board for the huge efforts they have undertaken during this review, and I would also like to thank shareholders whose views have been front and centre of all of our minds throughout the process. Bringing together two companies is always non trivial, but when approached in the constructive way I have observed, I am hugely excited about the future prospects for the manager and for P2PGI shareholders in a growing market.”

Simon Champ, CEO of Eaglewood Europe, said: “Since the inception of P2PGI plc in June 2014 the market opportunity and structure for non-bank lending has changed immeasurably. The combination of MW Eaglewood and Pollen Street gives the manager an unparalleled breadth of skill-set and origination sources. We strongly believe the merger uniquely equips the manager for the future evolution of the industry.”

Boscobel & Partners – media enquiries George Trefgarne Charlotte Walsh
0203 642 1310

About Pollen Street Capital
Pollen Street Capital was founded in 2013 and is an independent investment manager focused on the financial and business services sector. Pollen Street Capital has invested over £1.2bn through its private equity strategy in a range of businesses across all stages of development and launched its first credit fund, Honeycomb Investment Trust plc, in December 2015.

About MW Eaglewood
MW Eaglewood is a private credit asset manager specializing in global private credit strategies with a focus on smaller ticket lending across SME, corporate, consumer, real estate and trade finance market. It is part of the Marshall Wace Group of affiliated investment managers under common control, established in London in 1997. MW Eaglewood was formed in 2014 through the acquisition and merger of two boutique investment advisors in the United Kingdom and the United States. The company operates through its two investment management entities, MW Eaglewood Americas LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser based in New York, and MW Eaglewood Europe LLP, a London-based investment advisor authorized by the FCA. MW Eaglewood currently manages one US fund and a closed-ended, LSE-listed fund.