Experian buys 25% stake in telephone broker London and Country

Experian buys 25% stake in telephone broker London and Country

Original intentions to float in 2018 have not been ruled out but have been ‘put on hold,’ confirmed the 350-broker strong firm London and County (L&C).

Last year, the brokerage was seeking a minority investor ahead of plans to float on the stock market for up to £300m and Experian’s intention to buy first reported in September.

The broker plans to take a ‘hybrid digital approach’ and has been testing a new client relationship management proposition with a digital fact find for around six months, which went live in the last four weeks.

On whether the system offered artificial intelligence, L&C spokesman David Hollingworth said the firm has a “learning advantage” on other startup digital advisers, adding: “Experian will accelerate the growth of the hybrid approach we already have.”

The firm would not comment on its Application Programming Interface (API) development plans.


Conflict of interest

Following news of the deal, Experian sought to clear any fears raised by brokers about conflicts of interest and how it would affect Experian’s work with other brokers.

An eventual float will see the firm follow in the footsteps of Mortgage Advice Bureau which was listed on the Alternative Investment Market in 2014.

Mike Edge, L&C’s chairman will remain the majority shareholder with a significant portion of equity remaining with L&C’s management and employees.

Edge said: “We are delighted that Experian has chosen to invest in L&C, a fantastic business that has attracted growing numbers of customers by pioneering high quality, fee free mortgage advice. The market is changing at pace and we are determined to lead the way through this exciting partnership with Experian to accelerate the growth and development of our hybrid digital proposition. Together we will build an even stronger business than we have today.”

Clive Lawson, managing director of Experian Consumer Services, said: “We’re excited about the potential of this partnership and the opportunities we see to work with L&C to improve customer experience in the UK mortgage market.”

The transaction will be subject to FCA consent.

FTSE 100-listed Experian is a global information services company with 17,000 employees operating across 37 countries.