Liberty Corporate Finance advised Sovereign Capital on the Institutional Buy Out of The IMS Group, a leading provider of consulting and integrated business support to the wholesale asset management and securities industry.

IMS’ core service offering is regulatory compliance consulting to UK regulated financial services firms.  Alongside this, IMS provides related services including hosted regulatory permissions, due diligence, compliance training, risk management and recruitment. It also offers accounting, taxation and administration services through IMS Buzzacott, a joint venture with the top 30 niche accounting firm Buzzacott LLP, and US regulatory consulting through IMS Consulting (US) LLC based in New York. Since it was established in 1997, London-based IMS has grown significantly. IMS supports more than 400 investment businesses, ranging from established global firms to start-ups. Its clients include many of the world's largest hedge fund managers, private equity firms, fund of funds managers, family offices and institutional pension fund managers.

Liberty were appointed by Sovereign Capital to advise on the transaction, assist with debt raising, provide experienced support to the management and deal with transaction issues and general project management.


IMS has developed a reputation as the premium regulatory compliance provider in its market, with a client-led, rather than product-led, approach and rigorous client service standards. As the company focuses solely on the wholesale asset management and securities sectors, it can bring direct and relevant experience when advising its clients. Funding has been provided by the UK Private Equity Buy and Build specialist Sovereign Capital to support the acquisitive growth of IMS and a new CEO has been recruited, Michel van Leeuwen, to work alongside IMS’s existing management team. Steve Thomson, Director and Co-owner of Liberty commented: “Liberty is pleased to work alongside Sovereign Capital again and provide deal support on their acquisition of IMS. This concludes a successful year for Liberty representing our fourth deal of 2010 advising on Private Equity Transactions totalling over £170million and the award of Dealmaker of the Year prize at Insider's Central & East of England Dealmakers Awards 2010.” Neil Cox, Investment Director at Sovereign Capital commented: “At an early stage in the transaction we recognised that Liberty, with its proven track record in this niche, would be able to provide valuable support to us and the management team of IMS in the deal process. I was very appreciative of all of the work they did, their professionalism and attention to detail.”

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1 November 2010