Hornbuckle parent Embark Group has bought fellow self-invested personal pension provider Rowanmoor Group.
The deal was done this morning (15 July) in a private, all cash transaction, according to Embark’s chief executive Phil Smith.
“We paid more than fair value, but haven’t thrown around Monopoly money like some of the others in this sector,” he said.
Rowanmoor’s managing director Ian Hammond , who turned 70 earlier this week, will now retire, although he was keen to stress he was not being pushed to do so.
Deputy managing director and finance director David Saer will also retire, following a short period of transition.
Mr Hammond told FTAdviser that he had never put his firm up for sale, but over the years there have been a number of offers.
“We’re a smallish fish, punching above our weight in a very busy market,” he stated, adding that the deal should not be taken as a point of weakness. “Smaller companies in this space will find it difficult to grow these days.”
The acquisition of 100 per cent of the share capital - including wholly owned subsidiaries Rowanmoor Trustees, Rowanmoor Consultancy and Rowanmoor Personal Pensions - been fully approved by the Financial Conduct Authority and the UK Takeover Panel, and therefore takes immediate effect.
The combined group will administer in excess of £8.1bn assets for more than 70,000 pension, investment and consultancy clients. It will also have one of the sectors strongest regulatory capital coverage ratios at more than 125 per cent.
Both Mr Hammond and Mr Smith pointed this out, with the latter stating that contrary to recent reports, both Hornbuckle and Rowanmoor meet the regulatory’s individual capital adequacy requirements.
Rowanmoor confirmed it had met the capital requirement towards the end of last month. It has two products: the £555m Pensions Sipp and the £455m Pensions Family Pension Trust, with overall assets of nearly £4bn, the majority of which sit in its small self-administered scheme book.
Hornbuckle also has around £4bn of assets, from roughly 13,500 Sipp and Ssas clients.
Rowanmoor Group will be retained as a subsidiary of Embark, operating independently to Hornbuckle, but will share significant common infrastructure benefits and access to capital support over time.
Mr Hammond stated this was crucial, as on the IT side, Rowanmoor was somewhat under-resourced. Mr Smith added that “significant” amounts of capital had been injected into the holding company to drive future investment in both firms.
Mr Smith added: “The acquisition combines true specialist pension and retirement solution capabilities to create an independent, material scale, full service provider that is primed to meet the diverse needs of the UK market.”