Phoenix agrees to acquire Mobius Life

Phoenix today announces that it has reached an agreement with Souter Investments (“Souter”) and Manfield Partners (“Manfield”) to acquire a majority stake in Mobius Life (“the Company”), the leading independent provider of investment administration services to UK pension schemes. Phoenix will invest alongside the current management team, led by CEO Adrian Swales. Equity for the transaction, which remains subject to necessary regulatory approvals, will come from Phoenix’s 2016 Fund. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Mobius Life provides investment administration services, via a UK life insurance structure, to UK defined benefit and defined contribution pension schemes to help them implement their investment strategies and meet their investment objectives. The company services its customers primarily through a technology platform, which assists scheme trustees, and the consultants that advise them, to select and acquire, manage, value and trade a wide range of assets efficiently and accurately.

Under Souter’s ownership over the last five years, Mobius Life has grown assets under administration five-fold to c. £17 billion through its differentiated service offering and focused sales efforts. The investment by Phoenix will support Mobius Life’s continued expansion and allow for further growth in Assets under Administration.

Adrian Swales, CEO of Mobius Life, commented: “We are grateful to Souter for their support in helping us develop a robust and scalable platform solution that offers our pension scheme customers and their advisers clear benefits and the best outcomes. The investment by Phoenix sets us up for our next exciting phase of growth and demonstrates confidence in our business, senior management and wider team to continue our track record of outstanding performance. We are delighted to have Phoenix on board.”

Sandy Muirhead, Phoenix Equity Partners, said: “We are extremely excited at the prospect of working with Adrian and Mobius Life’s management team to take the business on to the next stage of its growth. Mobius Life has built an outstanding and unique position in the pensions market and, with the investment that we intend to make in its operational and distribution infrastructure, we see a clear opportunity for Mobius Life to increase its penetration of the institutional pension market and broaden its product offering while maintaining its best in class service levels.”

Andy Macfie, Managing Director at Souter, said: “Adrian and his team at Mobius Life have built a strong, market-leading business and a first-class, efficient and flexible independent platform for institutional corporate pension schemes. The strong growth in Mobius’s assets under administration and the widening range of clients Mobius Life serves underlines the attraction of the Company’s wide range of investment services and tailored investment solutions. We wish Adrian and his team every success in the future.”

Phoenix is being advised by Addleshaw Goddard, Deloitte and Houlihan Lokey.

Souter and Manfield are being advised by Dentons and IMAS.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval by the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority.