Pensions  

Sipp provider buys £150m Ssas book

Sipp provider buys £150m Ssas book

Self-invested pension provider @Sipp has purchased Alfa Trustee’s entire client book, taking its total assets under administration to £850m.

The Scottish provider today (15 June) announced it had bought the firm’s small self-administered scheme (Ssas) business for a six-figure sum as it looks to tap into the UK’s south east market.

Alfa, which will keep its base in Essex, was previously owned by Foden Baynes Associates.

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Gill Baynes, director of Alfa Trustees, will join the @Sipp management team as head of Ssas with immediate effect, and other Alfa employees will also transfer to @Sipp.

According to Ms Baynes, @Sipp’s outlook of the Ssas market mirrored Alfa’s, with both firms focused on a framework which centres on pension-led funding options, enhanced investment flexibility and succession planning opportunities.

“We have benefitted from a renaissance in the market in recent years – fuelled by changes such as the new pension flexibility rules and greater adviser awareness of both the personal and corporate benefits SSAS planning can bring,” she said.

Alfa Trustees currently has 145 Ssas arrangements, and £150m of assets under administration.

Glasgow-based @Sipp was formed in 2001 and currently provides a wide range of self-administered pension solutions to 2,500 clients.

In November last year, @Sipp appointed former AJ Bell director Eddie McGuire as managing director as it looked to push into the English market.

Mr McGuire said the company plans to complete further acquisitions, which will add new services or extra distribution options.

Mike Pendergast, IFA at Zen Financial Services, said: “The acquisiton means the Sipp provider can diversify and spread further across the market, particularly as I would expect average clients in the south east to have a larger fund available than in Scotland.

“Provided the firm has got the funds available, the move sounds like good news for @Sipp, as it will increase their ongoing fees and should expand the business.”

Talking more broadly about consolidation in the market, Mr Pendergast said acquisitions can increase funds under management to help provide economies of scale and lower fees, which he said is a good thing if they are passed onto the client.

katherine.denham@ft.com