NUCLEUS Financial founder David Ferguson has decided to leave the investment technology firm following the £145m takeover of the business by a private-equity backed rival.

Edinburgh-based Nucleus was acquired by James Hay in a deal that won strong backing from shareholders in the firm.

However, the deal was opposed by a People Representative Group of Nucleus employees amid “significant anxiety” about the impact on jobs at the firm.

Nucleus employs around 400, including 130 in Glasgow.

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The acquisition of the company by James Hay represented a strong vote of confidence in the business, which was founded by Mr Ferguson in 2006.

Nucleus offers online platform technology that people and their advisors can use to help manage their investments. James Hay also offers platforms.

Nucleus announced yesterday that its name would be adopted by the enlarged group, rather than that of James Hay, which is based in Salisbury. But, James Hay group chief executive Richard Rowney will assume day-to-day responsibility for the leadership of the enlarged firm.

The group noted: “Richard will take on the responsibilities of David Ferguson, Nucleus’ departing CEO who has decided to move on and pursue other opportunities, after a period of handover. David will be standing down from the Nucleus Board with immediate effect.”

In the announcement by the group, Mr Ferguson said: “With the company now becoming a key part of a much bigger picture with James Hay, it feels like the right time for me to move on and consider a new challenge.”

He added: “It’s 23 years since we started work on a collection of ideas that eventually led to the near £20bn platform that Nucleus is today. We aimed to create something that was truly collaborative, and it was my privilege to do this with some of the most talented people in the industry.”

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The group said the initial phase of the post acquisition review that its is completing has highlighted the significant skills, expertise and talent in both Nucleus and James Hay, which could help the enlarged group to compete successfully at scale.

“The combined management team is also working on a detailed evaluation of the existing technology arrangements and following completion later this year a further update will be provided,” it added.

In the offer document issued in April James Hay said it envisaged that a material number of Nucleus’ employees would transfer to FNZ over the medium term. It envisaged that underlying platform administration services for the combined group would be provided by FNZ over time.

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In the offer document James Hay also said: “There may be a moderate reduction in headcount at the enlarged group following the takeover where there was duplication or where operational efficiencies might be achieved.”

The offer document said that following completion of the acquisition it was envisaged that headquarters functions would continue to operate from James Hay’s and Nucleus’ existing locations.

The James Hay operation employs around 250 people in Salisbury.