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.

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.”