Last month Jerseybased asset managers TEAM Plc announced the acquisition of Omega Financial Services. Ian Heath spoke to Omega director/ majority owner Kevin Allenby and TEAM executive chairman Mark Clubb about the £4 million deal
LAST year was a busy year for TEAM Plc, with the firm listing on the London Stock Exchange in March, raising £7.5 million, before buying locally based cash-management business JCAP in July for £2.95 million.
The JCAP acquisition was designed to broaden the services TEAM offers clients – cash management being a natural complement to the firm’s core business of investment management.
Executive chairman Mark Clubb explained that the purchase of Omega, pending regulatory approval, would add another string to TEAM’s bow in the shape of in-house financial planning advice.
‘If a potential client were to come in and say they’ve got £1 million to invest, before the Omega acquisition we’d have just been able to ask whether they were after income, growth or a balance between both,’ he said.
‘Now we can broaden our discussion with that client by introducing Kevin and Omega. Rather than taking isolated elements of a client’s financial health, as I like to call it, we can now give expert advice on multiple areas. With Omega, that’s everything from pensions to mortgages to life insurance and other protection products.
‘It’s a bit like a medical health check when you get the full package. Eyes, ears, stomach, bloods, liver functionality – everything is covered. Now a client can come to us, and we can give them the equivalent of that for their wealth.
‘The combined offer will give all of our clients both more services and products to choose from.’
Omega director and majority owner Kevin Allenby said that he felt the two businesses were complementary and were able to offer very different services to the same client base.
‘TEAM could have a client come in for a general review and it won’t cost the TEAM client anything to also have one of Omega’s financial advisers review their financial position,’ he said. ‘This provides an added layer of protection for the clients, ensuring an expert has considered their overall situation, including their future financial requirements.
‘We will look at all sorts of things – such as their future pension values, likely financial situation on death, upcoming changes in circumstances and how this may impact them, their mortgage and most importantly protecting the most valuable item, their income.
‘All of which may have a bearing on their investment choices with TEAM, so while Omega is a completely different business, it is naturally connected to TEAM. TEAM and Omega are completely different businesses, but they complement each other hugely.’
Jersey-born Mr Allenby has had a long career as a financial adviser in the Island, with more than 30 years’ experience under his belt. This level of experience and a close association with the Island was part of the attraction of Omega for TEAM.
Mr Clubb continued: ‘Why Omega? We’ve been looking for an opportunity that gives us access and extension into the local community.
‘Omega certainly provides this. We believe that we’ve bought the best financial adviser here and certainly one of the longest-running independent advisers.’
He added that improving and expanding TEAM’s offering on pension advice was also a major incentive for the acquisition.
And Mr Allenby was keen to point out that Omega would be more than capable of providing input for TEAM’s investment strategies.
He said that the deal would mean clients had access to an in-house discretionary fund manager and a cash-management service – something that cannot be found elsewhere under the same roof in the marketplace.
‘We can share investment expertise with the things we’re strong on,’ Mr Allenby said.
‘We both have our own separate investment committees, but I will be able to join their investment committee meetings. I can ask what are their views? What are they thinking about? How does that differ from our views? And likewise, the other way round.
‘Nobody’s got a crystal ball in the investment world and my view may be very different to somebody else’s view. What is important is you can make each other think – and that benefits both TEAM and Omega.’
Omega will continue to run under its original name and the business’s clients are unlikely to notice any material changes following the acquisition, according to Mr Allenby.