Link Fund Solutions has formally been acquired by industry peer Waystone Group.
The deal means over 600 Link staff will join the fellow asset servicing firm. Acquiring Link also expands Waystone’s presence in other territories, including India.
All of the existing LFS UK investment managers and sponsors have transferred to Waystone, and the firm is now supporting asset managers with more than $2tn (£1.64tn) in total assets under management.
Completion of the deal after receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals follows Waystone’s recent appointment of new global CEO, Sanjiv Sawhney.
He joins Waystone from Citi, where he led global and regional investor services teams for the last 15 years.
The acquisition also comes as Link continues to deal with the fallout from its involvement with Neil Woodford’s collapsed funds.
The FCA is in the process of producing a detailed report on the debacle, including Link’s role, while the firm itself is in the process of implementing a scheme to return up to £235m to investors.
Nancy Lewis, interim executive chair at Waystone, said: “After months of hard work from both teams and multiple regulatory bodies, we are delighted to welcome all LFS staff to the Waystone family. This is the start of a new chapter for both businesses, building a stronger platform – with further international expertise and capability – to service our current and future clients.”
Karl Midl, CEO of Link Fund Solutions, added: “This is an exciting moment for the team and our clients. Together, we will be able to provide current and new sponsors, clients and investment managers with a more comprehensive set of services to support their, and their investors’, needs as they continue to evolve and grow.”
Regarding the continuing Woodford saga, AJ Bell head of investment partnerships Ryan Hughes, commented: “Investors waiting for redress from the long running Woodford debacle will be pleased to see that a major step forward for the settlement scheme has now been achieved. The proposed settlement scheme as set out to investors back in the summer was conditional on the successful sale of Link Fund Solutions to Waystone Group.
“This sale has now been completed with regulatory approval received which clear a major hurdle in investors receiving up to £235m in redress payments, the first of which should be due in Q1 2024. Tomorrow (10th October) sees the next step take place with the Court hearing to allow a meeting to be held for investors to vote on the proposed settlement scheme. Slowly but surely, the very patient investors trapped in the former Woodford Equity Income fund are inching towards some form of closure.”
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