Wren Sterling announces deal with Darlington Building Society
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Wren Sterling has signed a deal with Darlington Building Society to offer in-branch unbiased financial advice to the Society’s members.

This partnership increases Wren Sterling’s building society partners to seven, giving it reach across over 100 high street branches in the UK.

Wren Sterling’s financial advisers will be available to Darlington Building Society’s members to discuss important aspects of financial planning that the Society cannot advise on, like retirement, new pensions regulations, investments and protection products.

Paul Chafer, Commercial Director at Wren Sterling, commented: "I’m delighted that Wren Sterling has added Darlington Building Society to its list of building society partners and we look forward to providing its members with access to quality independent financial advice. As we have advisers nationwide, we’re well-positioned to work with organisations that are being asked for advice, but cannot necessarily provide it – like building societies, employers and accountancy networks."

Colin Fyfe, Chief Executive of Darlington Building Society, said, "We are very pleased to have appointed Wren Sterling to deliver financial advice to our members and customers and this will greatly enhance the overall quality of service we are able to offer through our network of ten branches. Wren Sterling’s advisers are able to recommend products from the whole of market which is important to us as we want to provide our membership with a first class service in terms of independent financial advice."

WEALTH at work launches NAPF financial education service
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Palatine Private Equity portfolio company WEALTH at work has announced the launch of The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) new financial education service.  

The service has been designed to work for pension schemes to offer to their members as well as for individuals approaching retirement.  The NAPF’s education and training arm, the NAPF Academy, supported by WEALTH at work, will offer pre-retirement financial education seminars from September in locations including: Edinburgh; Harrogate; Liverpool; Manchester; Birmingham; and, London.  NAPF fund members can book multiple places at these sessions, which are also open to individuals.  

The sessions will address key issues individuals should think about when considering their finances in retirement, including sources of income, the impact of risk, being tax efficient and recognising the actions that are key when planning ahead. The seminars will also look at the importance of taking into account other savings and investments as well as pensions, when planning for retirement.  The seminars are designed to provide useful support in addition to, and independent of, the Government’s guidance service, Pension Wise. They will provide information only and do not include or constitute personal financial advice.    

Joanne Segars, Chief Executive, NAPF commented: "Savers tell us they are positive about the pension freedoms but they are also aware of the risks they now face when managing their savings in retirement. We want to help savers make the most of the new freedoms and our partnership with WEALTH at work has been designed to do just that. We’ve made sure that these sessions are available to both individuals, who might want additional support when planning their retirement income, as well as schemes who may want to make the seminars available to their members. The seminars have been designed for anyone who is approaching retirement in the next couple of years, or is thinking about accessing their pension pot in the near future." 

Jonathan Watts-Lay, Director, WEALTH at work commented: "We are delighted to be supporting the NAPF in delivering this new financial education service. Since the pension changes, it has never been more important to provide high quality financial education to those who are nearing retirement. We have been delivering financial education for many years and know what a difference it can make to savers as they work out how to get the most out of their pension and other savings and investments. Our programme will help savers answer 3 key questions, ‘what do I need to know, what are my options and how do I action them?"

Palatine Private Equity announces £220m Fund III close
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Palatine Private Equity has announced the first and final close of Palatine Private Equity Fund III LP (“Fund III”) at its hard-cap of £220m, exceeding the size of Palatine’s second fund, which raised £150m in 2013.

Launched and closed in just eleven weeks, Fund III was significantly oversubscribed, attracting commitments from a globally diverse group of investors including UK, European, North American and Asian public and private pension plans, insurance companies, funds of funds, family offices and a number of high net worth individuals.

The final close of Fund III follows the success of Palatine’s second fund, which is now fully invested having completed ten platform investments including the provision of acquisition finance for Chase Templeton, one of the UK’s leading private medical insurance brokers; the secondary buyout of Character World, the UK’s leading licensed bedding specialist; and the buyout of WHP, a service provider to the mobile telecoms sector. .

Palatine was founded in 2005 and raised its maiden £100m fund in 2007, which has generated market leading returns, including XLN Telecom (4.5x return), Air Energi (3x return) and Hallmark Hotels (2x return).

Gary Tipper, Managing Partner, Palatine Private Equity said: "We appreciate the continued support from our existing investors and the vote of confidence from our new partners. Almost 100% of existing investors re-committed with nearly all increasing their commitment size. We are similarly delighted to have attracted five new LPs to join our high calibre and geographically diverse investor base. We are very excited about the potential for Fund III and look forward to continuing our focus on providing a Partner led approach to deals in the UK regional lower mid-market. We could have raised a significantly larger fund given the level of interest from investors, but we resisted that temptation, so we can continue to focus on our existing market space where we believe there is significantly less competition."

Richard Anthony, Alexander Rayden, Meredith Bourne, Anisa Javeri and Christopher Mockford of Evercore Private Funds Group acted as Global Placement Agent. Kate Downey, Mateja Maher, Suzannah Hacking, Sarah Dillon and Sarika Shah of Kirkland & Ellis International acted as Legal Advisor to Palatine Private Equity.

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