14 November 2023
Fintel has acquired AKG to further extend its industry-leading portfolio of ratings and reviews for financial services and investment professionals.
AKG is a market leader in the provision of independent assessment and rating of financial strength for a range of entities including life companies, investment platforms and discretionary fund managers in the UK. AKG ratings and reports are made available to advisers and their clients through advice technology, provider channels and directly from the AKG portal.
As the most trusted provider of financial strength ratings in the intermediated financial services market, this deal further extends AKG’s reach to more than 10,000 advisers served by Fintel. The transaction will also enable Fintel-owned Defaqto to further expand and deepen its relationships within the investment management and financial advice communities.
Defaqto provides independent, expert ratings and reviews covering risk, performance, functionality, service, ESG, and the Consumer Duty, which enable IFAs, wealth managers and paraplanners to differentiate between financial products quickly and easily. This purchase extends these capabilities to include the rating and review of the financial strength of financial product providers.
Defaqto will invest in AKG and draw on resources from across Fintel to accelerate distribution of its proposition, both within the sectors that it currently operates and adjacent areas, helping more advisers and their clients to benefit from clear, concise insights about financial strength and their Consumer Duty responsibilities. AKG’s financial strength ratings are already the most widely selected filter in Defaqto Engage, the financial planning tool used by a third of UK IFAs.
Matt Timmins, Joint CEO at Fintel, commented:
“I have worked in UK retail financial services for 25 years and throughout that time AKG has been at the forefront of financial strength ratings and consultancy. They help thousands of advisers to provide professional financial advice to millions of consumers and this is a perfect extension to our Fintel tech and services platform.”
Commenting on the purchase, Defaqto CEO John Milliken said:
“Defaqto is expanding through a combination of organic growth and acquiring some of the most highly regarded businesses in the industry that have strong adjacencies in terms of capabilities and customers. AKG is a strategically significant acquisition, adding industry expertise, insight and data that is complementary to Defaqto’s. We very much look forward to working with the talented team at AKG to invest in the business and make it an even greater success in the future, enabling more people to make smarter financial decisions.”
Guy Vanner, MD at AKG, said:
“We are delighted to become a part of the Fintel family. AKG has specialised in company assessment work for over 30 years and has become synonymous with the assessment of operational financial strength from the perspective of end customers, for use by their advisers. We are now excited to be able to further expand the delivery of our existing and new ratings and reviews to new and existing customers with the assistance of Defaqto and within the broader Fintel group.”
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Defaqto is one of the UK’s most trusted sources of financial product and market intelligence, supporting financial institutions, intermediaries and consumers to make smarter financial decisions.
We maintain the UK's largest financial product database and use proprietary research methodology to develop independent ratings, reviews, insights and technology.
By bringing together product data, technology and consumer insight we are in a unique position to help everyone make smarter, more informed financial choices now, and in the future. And in doing so we hope to raise industry standards, power consumer choice and help the industry meet evolving customer needs.
Fintel is the UK's leading fintech and support services business, combining the largest provider of intermediary business support, SimplyBiz, and the leading research, ratings and Fintech business, Defaqto.
Fintel provides technology, compliance and regulatory support to thousands of intermediary businesses, data and targeted distribution services to hundreds of product providers and empowers millions of consumers to make better informed financial decisions. We serve our customers through three core divisions:
The Intermediary Services division provides technology, compliance, and regulatory support to thousands of intermediary businesses through a comprehensive membership model. Members include directly authorised IFAs, Wealth Managers and Mortgage Brokers.
The Distribution Channels division delivers market Insight and analysis and targeted distribution strategies to financial institutions and product providers. Clients include major Life and Pension companies, Investment Houses, Banks, and Building Societies.
The Fintech and Research division (Defaqto) provides market leading software, financial information and product research to product providers and intermediaries. Defaqto also provides product ratings (Star Ratings) on thousands of financial products. Financial products are expertly reviewed by the Defaqto research team and are compared and rated based on their underlying features and benefits. Defaqto ratings help consumers compare and buy financial products with confidence.
AKG is an independent organisation, which has specialised in the provision of assessment, ratings, information and market assistance to the financial services industry for over 30 years.
A core focus is financial strength, where AKG takes a specific and distinct perspective in its assessments – that of the customer with ratings and reports designed and delivered for use by financial advisers.