John Charcol expands capability with acquisition of Simply Finance Group


Palatine Private Equity portfolio company John Charcol has completed the acquisition of multiple award-winning business Simply Finance Group based in Southampton.

The deal adds significant strength and depth to John Charcol’s existing mortgage advisory business, as well as adding a new secured loan capability, Simply Loans, to meet the growing market of customers seeking a second charge on their property.

Launched in 2006 by Peter Williams and Ben Larkin, Simply Finance has grown rapidly into a leading mortgage broker and in 2015 helped over 1,300 customers with their mortgage needs. Simply Finance is also recognised as a strong brand within the industry, and its 30 plus advisers have a reputation for providing high quality professional advice.

Under the terms of the deal, John Charcol’s CEO, Simon Knight, and Managing Director, Walter Avrili, will join the Simply Finance board. Founding directors of Simply Finance, Peter Williams and Ben Larkin, will join the senior management team at John Charcol. The deal means that John Charcol now has over 115 mortgage advisers serving an ever-growing number of customers each year.

Simon Knight, CEO, John Charcol said: “The acquisition of Simply Finance is a key part of our growth strategy giving us immediate increased capacity, an extension to our customer proposition, and capabilities that complement our existing areas of strength. Both Peter and Ben are entrepreneurs who have successfully built a hugely impressive business supported by a great team of people, with lots of potential to continue to grow.”

Peter Williams added: “John Charcol is a natural partner for us as we enter our next phase of growth. It is a growth-orientated business with a clear strategy led by an exceptional management team. This is a great deal for our staff and customers enabling us to invest further in areas of the business where we can offer a winning mortgage proposition.”