Creating a pensions market leader
Transforming Xafinity into a standalone business

The opportunity
Xafinity is a leading UK mid-market pensions consultancy specialising in advising the trustees of UK defined benefit (DB) pension schemes. In 2013, Xafinity was a non-core division of the much larger Equiniti Group. As part of a strategy to refocus on its core Business Process Services offering, Equiniti was seeking to divest Xafinity. This presented the opportunity to back a business which CBPE felt would flourish under independent ownership and which was well placed to capitalise on the continued evolution of the employee benefits sector in the UK.

The strategy
The separation from Equiniti completed on time and on budget in early 2014. We oversaw the development and enhancement of the management team, involving an orderly and consensual management succession and the appointment of several senior executives including Ben Bramall and Paul Cuff as co-CEOs, Jonathan Bernstein as Senior Actuary and Mike Ainslie as CFO. The business had an entirely new Board by the time of the IPO in February 2017. In addition, we introduced equity participation schemes to incentivise the wider team.

Working closely with the management team, we developed and executed a strategic plan which enabled Xafinity to become the market leading provider of advice to help DB schemes de-risk their pension obligations. Significant investment into technology and infrastructure allowed Xafinity to successfully establish itself as a true challenger to the “big three” in the actuarial sector.

The result
Xafinity plc listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange on 16 Feb 2017, at an Enterprise Value of £220m. Strong investor demand allowed us to divest all our shareholding at the time of the listing, generating a return on our investment of 4.3x at an IRR of 65%.

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