SPECIALIST property management software developer ROPUK Network has been acquired by independent financial advisory group Millbak Wealth this week for an undisclosed sum.
Speaking exclusively to OPP, ROPUK chief executive Kevin Maddison said, “the ROP UK Network brand will disappear and all our future business activity will be taken over – and carried on – by Millbak.”
The two companies are already well known to each other. Maddison told OPP that ROPUK Network had been working for some time with Millbak, “building their management systems and back office processes. They had taken on our GMP (Global Management Platform) software to help run the business … so it made sense to effectively take us over in full.”
Millbak director Gavin Woodhouse agreed, telling OPP “we have bought the future intellectual property rights and the ongoing business relationships that ROPUK Network had.”
Woodhouse could not see any logic in installing the ROPUK Network GMP software and ending up a rival competitor. “We were going to end up as head-to-head competitors using exactly the same software. It just didn’t make sense.”
For Maddison, the move makes sense because “we have been through some very tough times in recent years and markets like Cyprus have made us battle weary. I felt it was a good time to move on.”
“Millbak will give the business more scale and there will be a lot of good energy coming out of all this,” he adds, “especially with a new sales mentality and the desire to make a fresh move forward.”
Agents have welcomed the news positively say both parties and, adds Woodhouse, there is a lot of synergy in the deal. “Kevin wanted to concentrate purely on being a software and systems provider,” he adds, “and for us we get a set of historic trading relationships to mine and the GMP platform to help us sell finance products successfully in the market.”
ROPUK Network was based in Stockton-on-Tees in the north east of England and employed around 15 people.
Its network was made up of more than 200 registered selling agents, most of whom worked in the financial services sector as IFAs. ROPUK would carry out due diligence and research on overseas property developers and developments for the network to sell, using its expert knowledge of the overseas property sector and how it works.
This information, once collated, is then entered into ROPUK’s bespoke online software system called Global Management Platform (GMP) – which could accessed from the company’s website, www.ropuk.com.
The GMP system then created a ‘buyers guide’ for purchasers that personalised the document with their own information and produced deposit and mortgage quotations relevant to the property being considered.
GMP also gives real time information to all key stakeholders involved in property purchase or investment schemes. It started life as a simple database and property list, and then evolved into a bespoke software solution to suit any developer or agent.
Millbak provides, it says, “transparent, SIPP-compliant, sustainable UK investments,” and “opportunities within the UK for resellers and distribution agents in the UK & Europe.”