Schroders buys stake in Surrey-based advice business

Schroders buys stake in Surrey-based advice business

Schroders has bought a stake of undisclosed size in Surrey-based advice business Benchmark Capital.

Benchmark Capital consists of a number of different companies including Aspect8, the chartered financial planning firm, and Best Practice IFA Group, a network.

It also includes a technology company, an institutional funds platform, and a small restricted advice business.

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Ian Cooke, the chief executive of Benchmark Capital, will remain a core owner of the business and its existing executive team will continue to run the business day-to-day.

But Schroders chief executive Peter Harrison will join the company’s board.

Mr Harrison said: “This is a significant step in the growth of our presence in the UK retail investment market which is of strategic importance to the group.

“There is a strong cultural fit between our two businesses, with a shared commitment to delivering investment excellence and high-quality service for clients.”

The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed and it is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2017.

Mr Cooke said: “Our business has grown significantly over the last few years by focusing on integrated technology and professionalism and we have been actively seeking to partner with a company who shares our values and explore new opportunities.

“Partnering with Schroders, a FTSE 100 global investment management company, will provide Benchmark Capital with access to new markets and further enhance our proposition.

“We will continue to improve our technology suite bringing these benefits to our UK clients. As a core owner, I am excited about our future growth.”

All the companies within Benchmark Capital will remain independent.

Mr Cooke founded Aspect8 in 1993, which was followed by Best Practice a decade later.

He formed Benchmark Capital, which provides technology solutions, discretionary platform and support services to more than 120 firms, last year.