IntegraFin Holdings, parent group of the Transact Platform, has acquired specialist software provider Time4Advice for an undisclosed sum, a move dubbed “very smart” by an industry expert.
The acquisition will enable the firm to enhance its platform and adviser back office processes and provide Time4Advice the opportunity to accelerate its software development and expand its reach.
Time4Advice will retain its separate legal entity as well as its brand, with both co-founders Roland Rawicz-Szczerbo and Mitchell Philpott remaining with the company.
Jonathan Gunby, chief executive officer, Transact, said the deal will boost Time4Advice’s growth and provide an “enhanced service” to advisers through its process improvement.
Gunby said: “Technological integration will not be exclusive to Time4Advice and we already collaborate with a wide range of service providers to the financial planning sector.”
Roland Rawicz-Szczerbo, founder and director, Time4Advice, commented: “The investment will enable Time4Advice to accelerate the expansion of its proposition. As a result, Time4Advice clients will see more and improved functionality from CURO sooner.”
McKenna said: “The change in ownership will be a very positive step for Time4Advice users providing security and certainty over the ownership, at a time when the firm’s largest customer St James Place, is developing their own new capability with Salesforce. Time4Advice have become a significant player in the adviser practice management system market and the new ownership should put them in a strong position to accelerate development of additional functionality and services.”
According to McKenna, much of the real value for advisers and clients is being added by advicetech firms like Time4Advice, with this latest deal continuing the trend of techadvice firms being snapped up by institutions. In 2016, Schroders bought into Benchmark Capital including their Creative Technologies advice tech business and in 2018, Invesco acquired Intelliflo.
McKenna continued: “By owning a comprehensive practice management system Integrafin should benefit from an additional perspective on adviser operations. The combined business should be able to offer an outstanding customer experience for advisers and clients alike.”
He added: “There is now a real shortage of independently owned advice tech firms in the UK. ASX-quoted Iress are the largest independent, followed by True Potential. Platforms need to find ways of evolving their propositions beyond dealing and custody to provide deeper levels of operational support for advice firms. While there are very few practice management players who can now be acquired I expect to see growing institutional interest in other areas of advice tech.”