Investments  

Embark buys Zurich platform

Embark buys Zurich platform

Embark’s expansion in the platform space has continued with the company's acquisition of the Zurich platform.

FTAdviser previously reported Zurich was eager to sell the business, which has £11bn of assets and 130,000 of advised clients. 

The acquisition comes after the recent deal to buy the advised book of Alliance Trust Savings from direct-to-consumer business Interactive Investor.

Embark’s platform business will have assets of £33bn and 300,000 consumer clients after the Zurich deal is completed.  

As part of the transaction, for which no price has been disclosed, Embark is also buying Zurich’s authorised corporate director and investment services businesses.

The two companies agreed to a five-year partnership to collaborate on developing new products in the protection and and life insurance markets.  

Phil Smith, chief executive of Embark Group, said: “This acquisition is perfectly aligned to our growth strategy and duly establishes Embark as a significant player in the UK retirement and savings market.

"The deal brings considerable assets, demonstrable distribution and investment capabilities, and most importantly one of the best teams in the industry to Embark. We are also excited by the potential of our new digital partnership with Zurich UK, and the future innovations we will bring to the market through it."

Jim Sykes, Zurich’s head of UK life. said: “This is an excellent outcome for all parties. Although our wealth platform is a strong and successful business, we believe the needs of customers and advisers would be better served by an owner that is focused on investing in this specialist area.

"Embark is ideally placed to take the platform to the next stage in its development. In turn, this allows us to focus our resources on our protection business where we see the greatest growth opportunities. We are excited by our new retail protection partnership with Embark, which is a further signal of our intent in this market.”

The acquisitions are the latest in a wave of consolidation to hit the platform market, a bout of activity that stretches back to Aegon acquiring Cofunds in August 2016.

david.thorpe@ft.com