Beech Tree Private Equity (“Beech Tree”) is pleased to announce the sale of its investment in Fluent Money to a leading mortgage broker, Mortgage Advice Bureau Plc (“MAB”) for £95m. Beech Tree invested in Fluent after identifying the business as the leading broker in the second charge mortgage space, driven by its proprietary operational technology and unique end-to-end digital customer journey.
With Beech Tree’s support, Fluent has now expanded its offering to include mortgages, equity release, bridging loans and insurance to become one of the fastest growing finance brokers in the UK. The business is based in Bolton, has over 450 staff and is now responsible for over £1.6bn of lending per annum.
Key to Fluent’s success in recent years has been its ability to bring its leading digital customer journey and high levels of customer satisfaction to new product lines, giving Fluent’s online lead providers and end customers a genuinely differentiated offering in a market that remains stubbornly inefficient and often too reliant on paper-based customer journeys.
Beech Tree has also supported Fluent’s growth through the development of the Fluent Academy, which ensures that the business has a constant stream of new, highly skilled and qualified advisors entering the business to support its growth ambitions. In recent years Fluent has also invested heavily in automating as many processes as possible to ensure that the customer journey is as efficient as it can be.
Andy Marsh, Managing Partner at Beech Tree said "We are delighted to have worked with Kevin and the wider management team at Fluent Money over the past few years. The business has grown substantially – both in terms of scale and also in terms of the breadth of its products offerings. Fluent Money is now one of the fastest growing finance brokers in the UK and is well placed to accelerate its growth even further over the next few years. This exit represents a very strong return for Beech Tree and I wish Mortgage Advice Bureau and Fluent every success for the future."
Kevin Hindley, CEO of Fluent Money said “Beech Tree Private Equity invested in Fluent Money in February 2016, and following a successful sale to Mortgage Advice Bureau, we are genuinely feeling some sadness at the exit of a close partner. From the very start, the team at Beech Tree have been a real asset to the board of Fluent, and have worked collaboratively with me and the rest of the management team to help build the business into what is today.”
Financial Services M&A specialists Fenchurch Advisory acted as lead corporate finance advisors to Fluent’s shareholders. DLA Piper acted as legal advisor for the transaction. Other advisors included BDO (financial and tax diligence), CIL (commercial diligence) and Bespoke M&A (vendor assist).