EDINBURGH-based FNZ yesterday announced a major investment in the company which values the firm at £1.65bn just 15 years after it was founded.

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (“CDPQ”) and Generation Investment Management LLP (“Generation”) are buying – subject to regulatory approval – General Atlantic and H.I.G. Capital’s investment in FNZ, amounting to two-thirds of the shareholding.

The acquisition, which is one of the world’s largest transactions this year in the Financial Technology (FinTech) sector, is the first of a $3 billion investment that CDPQ and Generation Investment, co-founded by former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, plan to make over the next eight to 15 years, according to a joint statement.

FNZ, founded in New Zealand in 2003, is a global FinTech firm, transforming the way financial institutions serve their wealth management customers. It partners with banks, insurers and asset managers to help consumers better achieve their financial goals.

The business has grown rapidly in recent years, as its institutional customers have used FNZ’s platform to improve transparency, choice and drive down long-term costs for consumers of wealth management products across all segments: from mass-market workplace pensions to mass-affluent and high net-worth clients.

FNZ expanded from New Zealand to the UK in 2005, initially partnering with what is now Standard Life Aberdeen and basing its UK operations and technology in Edinburgh. The company was a significant beneficiary of the UK’s global leadership in the consumer regulation of financial advice. The 2013 retail distribution review (RDR) improved fairness, transparency and costs for consumers of financial advice and has been followed around the world, especially Europe.

FNZ is currently responsible for over £330bn in assets under administration held by around five million customers of some of the world’s largest financial institutions, including Standard Life Aberdeen, Santander, Lloyds Bank, Barclays, Quilter, UOB, Aviva, Zurich, UBS, BNZ, Findex and FNZC. In total, FNZ partners with more than 60 financial institutions across the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia.

The company has over 1400 employees in the UK, Czech Republic, Shanghai, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Around 400 employees are shareholders, who will continue to own about one third of the company’s equity following the transaction.

Adrian Durham, CEO and founder of FNZ said: “We started FNZ by asking: how can technology solve the problems faced by consumers of long-term savings products?

“We saw investors being charged so much that their retirement income was halved by charges alone. They were no better off than a bank deposit, despite taking risk and investing in managed funds for over 30 years. Choice was non-existent and the entire value chain was managed using paper.

“Our approach has entirely digitised the value chain, reducing cost and complexity for financial institutions and consumers alike.

He added: “Our clients have all moved to Platform-as-a-Service combining cloud-based software with transaction and custody services. This frees them to focus purely on their customer proposition, transferring all the technology, transaction and asset servicing to FNZ.”