DST Acquires Wealth Management Systems - O'Keeffe and O'Malley

DST Acquires Wealth Management Systems

Jul 09, 2015

Kansas City, MO-based DST Systems, a global provider of strategically unified data management, business processing, and customer communication solutions, announced it has agreed to acquire Wealth Management Systems Inc., a leading provider of technology-based rollover services and financial planning and education solutions to the retirement services industry.

The purchase price of $64 million will be funded using a combination of cash and short-term borrowings on revolving credit lines. On an earnings per share basis, the transaction is projected to be breakeven to DST in the first year. The deal is expected to close by year end.
Founded in 2000, New York-based WMSI provides rollover and advisor solutions, along with financial planning and education tools and communications. WMSI utilizes advanced technology in combination with customer data, education, and marketing to provide clients with fully integrated, end-to-end servicing solutions to support financial well-being and retirement readiness. Clients range from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses in the financial services and employee benefit arenas.

On completion of the deal, WMSI's comprehensive suite of services and rollover solutions will come to market as part of DST Retirement Solutions, a leading provider of defined contribution technology, strategic advisory, and business processing solutions to the industry.

According to Jude Metcalfe, president of DST Retirement Solutions, the firms' complementary technologies will come together at a critical time in the retirement marketplace.
"As a normal consequence of the nation's aging demographics, there's a predictable migration of funds from retirement plans to investment management platforms," says Metcalfe. "This acquisition of an established leader in the rollover business places us squarely at that point of intersection. I think DST is uniquely positioned now to help asset managers and broker-dealers grow and retain assets in the retirement space."

With more than 40 leading firms participating in its network, WMSI is connected to record-keepers servicing over 12 million participants, and provides automatic rollover services to over 25,000 plan sponsors. In addition to its New York City location, the firm has offices in West Palm Beach, Florida, Boston, Massachusetts, and Waltham, Massachusetts.

"We're looking forward to a whole new world of opportunity as part of the DST Enterprise," says John Geli, CEO of WMSI. "Beyond the retirement space, DST provides access to multiple channels and segments that can be utilized to expand WMSI's product distribution and market presence."

As part of the DST Enterprise, WMSI and its employees will become part of the DST Retirement Solutions business unit. "The retirement market is increasingly complex, and to serve it well demands an understanding of the full ecosystem," says Metcalfe. "This acquisition reinforces DST's ability and desire to be the most complete provider to the space."

The acquisition is subject to certain approvals and other closing conditions.