Acuity Knowledge Partners, a provider of high-value research, analytics and business intelligence to the financial services sector, advised by Permira, the global private equity firm, acquired a majority stake in the business from Equistone Partners Europe, a mid-market private equity investor. Equistone will reinvest in Acuity as a minority shareholder. Acuity’s management team also remains significantly invested in and committed to the business. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Acuity Knowledge Partners serves a global client base of more than 500 financial services firms, including banks, asset managers, advisory firms, private equity houses and consultants. Its team of analysts, industry experts, developers and data scientists work as an extension of clients’ teams and, combined with its proprietary technology solutions, allow clients to transform their practices and processes, increase revenues and operational efficiency.

“Despite the current challenges for the financial services sector, we have experienced continued growth and a strong demand for our solutions and services,” Robert King, CEO of Acuity Knowledge Partners, said. “Supported by Permira and Equistone, who both have significant experience of investing in and growing first-class businesses in our sector, we are now driving numerous strategies for developing our offerings. Among other things, we want to deepen our relationships with our valued clients and forge new partnerships across our growing global client base. Given the significant demand within the financial services sector for value-added research and analytics, and the need for operational efficiency, with Permira’s deep experience in tech-enabled services and its global network, I am confident the business will continue to flourish.”

“Rob and his team have done a phenomenal job building Acuity to what it is today. The Company stands out because of its domain expertise, scale, long track record serving blue-chip financial institutions and innovative technology solutions,” Daniel Tan, head of Asia at Permira, and Chris Pell, principal at Permira, said in a joint statement. “In the context of rising cost pressures facing the financial services industry, the value proposition of Acuity’s tech-enabled, global delivery specialists is extremely clear. We see great potential for Acuity to further extend its leadership in existing segments as well as branch into new adjacencies and geographies – growth areas we are very experienced in facilitating via our deep sector knowledge, across both services and technology, and global network.”

“Acuity has performed exceptionally well in its three years of operating as an independent business, growing both its client base and its team of industry specialists substantially,” Tim Swales, partner at Equistone, and Richard Briault, investment director at Equistone, said in a joint statement. “This is testament to the high-quality customer experience and extensive service offering it provides to financial institutions, at a time when structural and technological changes within the industry are fuelling demand for greater and more efficient research and analysis. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with Rob and his team in this next phase of Acuity’s growth journey.”

The deal, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2023.

Equistone was advised on the transaction by Rothschild and DC Advisory, and Latham & Watkins acted as legal counsel. Robert W. Baird served as financial advisers to Permira, and Clifford Chance is acting as legal counsel. Management was advised by Travers Smith and Jamieson.