Giant firm's stake in Ken Davy's company.
company head Ken Davy
SIMPLY Biz, a Huddersfield financial services firm, today tied up a deal with giant Standard Life.
The firm, headed by Ken Davy, said Standard Life had become a minority shareholder.
The deal will see Standard Life acquire a 10% stake in Simply Biz, the UK's fastest growing provider of services to financial advisers.
Simply Biz, launched nearly four years ago, provides compliance support, business development and marketing services to directly regulated IFA firms across the UK.
Since its inception in November, 2002, the Huddersfield-based group has grown to over 1,500 firms, representing some 3,000 individual advisers.
Last year it made record profits of pounds 2.25m.
Current investment funds under advice total around pounds 14bn and annual mortgage lending introduced is about pounds 10bn.
Chairman Mr Davy - who is also the owner of Huddersfield Town and Huddersfield Giants - said: "We are extremely pleased to have a company of the calibre of Standard Life as a major institutional shareholder.
"This investment marks an important stage in the development of the Simply Biz group, allowing us to continually improve our offering without impacting on our independence.
"Many networks and service companies are already owned or controlled by insurance providers or computer companies.
"In the current marketplace we believe that Simply Biz needs to be strongly independent.
"This deal reinforces that independence while enabling us to significantly strengthen the group's overall commercial position by working with one of the UK's most respected life companies."
Ian Thorneycroft, managing director of Simply Biz, said: "We are already re- investing a significant proportion of our profits back into the business, so as to constantly improve our service.
"We are confident this investment by Standard Life will allow us to continue to make further improvements for the benefit of all Simply Biz member firms."