Mercer adds Jelf Group unit from sister company Marsh

15 December 2015

Mercer has carved-out Jelf Group’s financial planning operations from sister company Marsh and integrated it into its UK consumer business division. Circa 80 employees transfer to the HR consultancy.

Bristol-based Jelf Group was founded in 1989 by Chris Jelf and has since grown into one of the UK’s leading independent insurance brokers and financial services consultancies. The company has 36 offices in 33 locations across England and Wales employing over 1,200 members of staff. In September this year Jelf Group was acquired by Marsh, one of Marsh & McLennan Companies’ subsidiaries, in a deal worth nearly £260 million.

As part of the integration, Marsh and Mercer have decided to carve-out Jelf Group’s Financial Planning practice, which consists of around 80 members of staff*, and integrate it into the consumer business division of Mercer. With the addition, Mercer strengthens its capability to provide financial advice to a broad range of companies and their employees, including high net worth individuals.

Jelf Group, Mercer, Marsh

“Our purpose is to help clients advance the wealth, health and careers of their employees,” says Fiona Dunsire, Mercer’s UK CEO and Market Leader, “and expanding our financial advice capabilities is central to that mission. The need is evident: research shows that one third of businesses are concerned that their employees won’t make the right decision on how they use their pension pot when they reach 55. We want to help employers assist their employees in making the best choices in how they save and spend up to, into and through their retirement. Jelf’s financial planning business boosts our ability to do this. We are delighted to welcome them to Mercer.”

The combined Financial Planning team will be headed by Richard Wilson, a Partner at Mercer. “With scheme members able to use their pension savings as they see fit, companies are looking to ensure that they provide employees with access to the best financial advice and information on which to base their wider financial decisions. Jelf’s Financial Planning team is a pivotal part of Mercer’s offering in this area,” he says.

Jelf Group founder Jelf will join Mercer as part of the internal restructure. He comments: “This is an exciting new chapter for Jelf Financial Planning, and myself and the team are looking forward to the opportunities that this partnership of two great companies will provide. We very much look forward to working with our new colleagues – taking both our businesses to the next level.”

* Staff of Jelf Group’s Financial Planning unit operate from the core locations of Bath, Bristol, Cheltenham, Manchester and Reading.


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SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

19 April 2019

UK consulting firm SQW Group has completed its first acquisition since it completed a management buyout in January 2019. BBP Regeneration joins the company having collaborated with SQW for more than 20 years.

Established in 1983, SQW Group now operates all over the world. Comprising SQW, Oxford Innovation, Oxford Innovation Services – one of the UK’s leading innovation centre operators – and Oxford Investment Opportunities Network, the organisation’s origins can be traced to Britain’s two ancient university cities: Oxford, through Oxford Trust founders, Martin and Audrey Wood, and Cambridge, through SQW’s work in producing The Cambridge Phenomenon.

The consultancy specialises in public policy, working with entities from the public, private and voluntary sectors to research, develop, implement and evaluate social and economic development interventions. It now employs over 250 people across regional offices in London, Oxford and Edinburgh, and provides business support to over 4,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses each year. At the start of 2019, SQW secured its independence in a management buyout, advised on by M&A experts from Liberty Corporate Finance and Penningtons Manches.

SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

SQW has strengthened its position as a provider of services across the business spectrum with the acquisition of BBP Regeneration. Founded in 1994, the consulting firm specialises in land and property-based regeneration and growth schemes, and is a leading social and economic development consultancy. 

The two firms first worked together over 20 years ago, when SQW and BBP collaborated to develop the first Regional Economic Strategy for the South East. More recently, they developed an economic strategy for Thanet and are now working together in locations stretching from Cwmbran via Oxfordshire to London.

With the addition of BBP, SQW can now provide an integrated advisory service for organisations developing property schemes which deliver economic benefit to their local area. By joining SQW, meanwhile, BBP hopes to further enhance its ability to support clients in delivering property and place-making ambitions. 

Speaking about the deal, SQW CEO David Crichton-Miller commented, “The UK more than ever needs solutions to the challenges of places – of high streets under threat, of meeting housing delivery targets, and of both economically over-successful and economically challenged towns and cities – and the combination of SQW and BBP is uniquely suited to developing those solutions. [This deal] brings together critical and complementary services relating to places to serve our clients with leading edge and practical advice.”

Andy Smith, Director of BBP Regeneration, added, “SQW shares with BBP the same values of seeking to provide outstanding, practical, real world advice that helps get buildings built and places developed.  We greatly look forward to the opportunities that come from joining our two organisations together.”