PE investor exits pensions provider after four years of growth and acquisitions

Xavier Woodward

Private equity investor Livingbridge has sold pensions provider Broadstone, to funds manager ICG, for an undisclosed sum.

Broadstone provides specialist pensions, trustee and employee benefits solutions and has offices around the country, including Manchester and Liverpool.

It was founded within BDO Stoy Hayward in 1989. Livingbridge first invested in the business in 2016 from, the Livingbridge 5 fund, having identified the potential to build a mid-market leader of scale in the highly fragmented pensions and employee benefits sector.

Having recruited chair, Tony Solway, and with the experienced management team led by Grant Stobart and Nick Jones as CEO and CFO, respectively, Livingbridge executed an ambitious buy and build strategy, which included the acquisitions of Mitchell Consulting and 20-20 Trustees in 2017, followed by CS Financial Services, Thomson Dickson Consulting, BBS Consultants and Actuaries, 3HR Benefits Consultancy in 2019, and Steve Southern Trustees in 2020.

Broadstone’s 400-strong workforce now manages more than 1,500 clients.

Xavier Woodward, from Livingbridge’s Manchester office, said: “We are thrilled with Broadstone’s achievements over the past four years, during which time we have led a transformational growth strategy to create a leading force in the employee benefits sector.

“Our thanks go to the Broadstone management team who have not only executed the M&A to perfection, but grown the platform organically to fulfil the business’s potential. We wish the team every success with their new partners.”

Grant Stobart said: “It has been a pleasure to work with the Livingbridge team over this period, during which we have built a business of scale with a strong industry profile, and a reputation for outstanding customer service.

“We look forward to a bright future with ICG as we continue the development of Broadstone and 20-20 Trustees during the next stage of their growth.”

The principal advisers on this exit for Livingbridge included Deloitte Corporate Finance and Debt Advisory, LEK on commercial diligence, Deloitte on financial diligence, and Eversheds on legal.

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