Key Retirement has acquired a stake in Answers in Retirement, a group covering a range of retirement and later life services.
AIR Group comprises of AIR Sourcing – the sourcing system for equity release and retirement lending products; the Equity Release Club – the platform for equity release and later life advisers; and the Later Life Academy (LLA) – the commercial and training organisation for later life advisers.
The investment by KR Group is said to enhance AIR Group’s financial strength and provide additional working capital to facilitate the roll out of a series of enhancements and services under all three brands.
The commitment from the new investor is to support the existing management and staff and that it will be “business as usual” for AIR Group, its focus and its commitment to advisers.
Stuart Wilson, previously group managing director, has become chief executive officer of Answers in Retirement.
He said: “This marks the next phase in the growth of AIR Group and will significantly enhance our position as a premier later life proposition for advisers.
“The investment from KR Group is a ringing endorsement of what we have already achieved providing us with new investment and expertise in order to develop and enhance our range of services.
“Part of the appeal of this deal was the commitment from KR Group to allow us to get on with what we’ve been doing, keeping everything and everyone in situ to carry on with our plans.”
Wilson added: “We believe we offer one of the best value propositions in the marketplace, and with greater levels of resource and this financial backing, we’ll be able to deliver even better value and outcomes for our adviser members.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time for the group and this deal endorses everything that we are doing while providing the support to accelerate the roll-out of our planned enhancements, particularly for AIR Sourcing.”
The investment comes off the back of a strong set of results for 2017 with turnover for AIR Group up 49%. In addition, AIR Sourcing saw a 140% increase in the number of registered users and version three of the system, offering a wide range of market-leading enhancements, is soon to be launched.
Simon Thompson, chief executive of Key Retirement Group, added: “KR Group are pleased to be supporting Stuart Wilson and his ambitious growth plans for Later Life Academy, Air Sourcing and the Equity Release Club.
“While we are ourselves growing adviser numbers at considerable pace, the group is keen to help support the growth of advisers in the wider marketplace.
“This investment will help Stuart and the team to deliver their vision through further development and resourcing of its already well-established businesses.
“Stuart will continue to head up the three businesses with no changes to the operation or the team.”