April 2016

  • Client : bfinance
  • Activity : Provides investment advisory solutions to institutional investors worldwide.
  • Sector : Financial Services
  • Acquired by: Baird Capital
  • Transaction Type:

What our client said

“This is an exciting deal for our business. Baird Capital’s experience and resources will be invaluable as we seek to further enhance our services and global reach. Baird’s deep understanding of the financial services industry and its global network will be valuable as we look to drive our growth both domestically and abroad. Our improved capabilities will also help us better serve our institutional clients who now, more than ever, need excellent advice to help them in their search for yield and to protect their portfolios in today’s highly volatile markets.
We are building bfinance’s next phase of growth on very strong foundations, with our client base of blue-chip institutions and clearly differentiated advisory services winning an increasing number of adherents globally. When looking for an advisor we wanted someone with an international network and experience of working with Private Equity firms. Cavendish had the expertise to facilitate the transaction and the support they provided was invaluable.”

David Vafai, Founder and CEO of bfinance

Cavendish Corporate Finance, the UK’s leading sell-side mid-market M&A firm, is delighted to announce that it has advised on the investment in bfinance Holdings Limited (“bfinance”), a leading investment advisory business, by Baird Capital (“Baird”), a leading private equity firm focussed on mid-market buyouts. The sale price was not disclosed.

Founded in 1999 by David Vafai, bfinance offers investment advisory solutions to institutional investors worldwide. bfinance specialises in investment implementation, spanning a range of services from investment strategy design, to manager selection, portfolio risk solutions and investment monitoring. A clear differentiator for bfinance is that when conducting manager search and selection, it maintains no subjective manager buy lists and conducts a review of the entire universe of managers before implementing its proprietary, in-depth manager due diligence and selection. Every assignment is modelled and tailored to each individual client’s specific requirements, risk tolerance and return objectives.

Headquartered in London, with offices in Amsterdam, Munich, Montreal, Paris and Sydney, bfinance has advised on investments for over 300 clients on more than 700 engagements, involving investments totalling over $140 billion. Its clients have an average assets under management of c.$12 billion and include some of the world’s largest institutional investors. Client coverage is in over 30 countries.

Given the strong projected growth of the global asset management industry there are significant expansion opportunities for bfinance. Global assets under management are estimated at USD64 trillion and this is forecast to increase significantly over the next five years, with pension assets in particular projected to grow by 6.6 per cent per annum to reach USD56.5 trillion by 2020.

As the landscape of asset classes continues to evolve and become more complex, with institutions turning to emerging and more exotic asset classes such as European private debt or African equities, in the search for yield, investment consultants such as bfinance will play a major role in helping to reshape allocations and protect portfolios in volatile markets.

The transaction will facilitate more growth in the US and Australia, where bfinance have recently won a number of new engagements. It also recently opened a Sydney office to cover the Australian region. David Vafai will continue to run the business, while Baird’s managing director Andrew Ferguson and CFO Mark Brownlie will also join the board, alongside new chairman and Citywire founder Tim Trotter.

Nick Jones, Partner at Cavendish Corporate Finance who led on the transaction, commented:

“We are delighted to have advised bfinance on this transaction allowing David and the team to crystalise significant value that has been created over the last few years. With a high quality board and an investor with Baird’s credentials in the sector and international reach, bfinance has a partner that will support an exciting future for the business.”


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