InvestmentsOct 28 2019

Embark acquires ATS adviser platform

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Embark acquires ATS adviser platform
ByDavid Thorpe

The consolidation that has been an increasing feature of the adviser market in recent years took another twist today as Embark agreed to buy the adviser platform business of Alliance Trust Savings from Interactive Investor. 

The sale brings £6bn of assets and about 30,000 clients onto the Embark platform. 

Interactive Investor acquired Alliance Trust Savings from Alliance Trust earlier this year, and in July, its chief executive Richard Wilson told FTAdviser he had been “talking and listening” to the market about the future of the adviser platform and partnerships operation. 

In an announcement today (October 28), Mr Wilson confirmed the sale of the business for an undisclosed sum. 

The deal will see the adviser platform carved out of ATS, and the direct to consumer element will continue to be owned by Interactive Investor.

Mr Wilson said: “The divestment will allow II to focus on its single purpose: to serve the self-directed retail investor, and the increased scale means we can continue to invest in providing a class leading customer experience, excellent value and a wealth of impartial information to help customers make better-informed investment decisions.”

Interactive Investor’s combined retail platform has assets of £30bn following this sale. 

Embark Group confirmed it will continue to employ all of the staff it is inheriting at the office in Dundee where the Alliance Trust was founded. 

The building will now be owned by Embark Group, and will become that company’s corporate headquarters. Platform technology provider FNZ will also take a space in the building. 

Phil Smith, Embark Group chief executive, said: “This acquisition presents a perfect opportunity to accelerate our growth strategy by acquiring a book of platform assets with high Sipp penetration, as well as complementary distribution relationships.

"This takes our group AuA to well in excess of £22bn and reinforces our position as one of the fastest growing disruptors in the UK investment savings and platform market.” 

In 2018, Mr Smith said he hoped to float Embark Group on the stock exchange before the end of 2020.

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