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  • Charles Stanley

    “MSIF’s culture is to create and sustain jobs in the area and their knowledge and experience will be invaluable to us as we look to grow the business.”

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A leading employee benefits advisory business in Liverpool has undergone a management buy-out (MBO) in a deal backed by a £1.4m equity investment from MSIF.

CS Financial Solutions Limited (CSFS), previously a subsidiary of Charles Stanley Group plc, whose headquarters is on Chapel Street has been bought by chief executive Paul McGuckin, managing director Craig Williams and commercial director Colin Nicol for £2m.

The business offers financial services advice to corporate clients and their employees on a variety of employee benefit schemes including healthcare, death in service, income protection, flexible benefits, and pensions.

Founded in Liverpool in 1934 as part of the Griffiths & Armour Insurance Broking practice, it was then sold to Charles Stanley plc in 2008.

CSFS, which also has an office in London, had a turnover of £3.5m at the last accounts date and employs 50 staff.

Paul McGuckin said: “We are delighted to have completed the acquisition and are looking forward to the next exciting phase of development for this business."

“By becoming an independent business, trading as CS Financial Solutions, CSFS will be able to run the business far more efficiently and profitably, and with full focus on fulfilling the needs of our clients."

“All of our existing clients have transferred to the new company and we have lots of opportunities to add new clients to our portfolio."

“We are forecasting significant growth across the business and are planning to take on around 15 new specialist staff during the next 2 years. All our existing staff will remain with the business."

“This was my first experience dealing with private equity. We had a number of investors interested but we chose to go with MSIF because they genuinely care about the business and I know that they will support us going forward. MSIF’s culture is to create and sustain jobs in the area and their knowledge and experience will be invaluable to us as we look to grow the business.”

MSIF investment director Paul Humphray said: “We are delighted to have assisted Paul, Craig and Colin in acquiring the CSFS business and look forward to working with them to develop the business further."

"With the constantly changing regulatory environment around employee benefits and pensions that will affect every business in the UK, it represents a growing and exciting sector in which CSFS already has a strong reputation across the UK. Led by a strong management team, we look forward to helping the business achieve its growth aspirations.”

Steve Stuart of Stuart Consulting LLP provided corporate finance advice with Denise Walker from Brabners providing legal advice to the acquirer and the management team. Craig Scott from Hill Dickinson provided legal advice to MSIF, and financial Due Diligence support was provided by Simon Mills at Langtons.

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