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Wealthtime eyes growth after buyout

Wealthtime eyes growth after buyout

Wealthtime has pledged to improve its service to financial advisers as it hopes its acquisition by private equity firm AnaCap will allow it to extend its reach into the adviser market.

Commercial director Lucy Bristow told FTAdviser financial advisers were “more important than ever” given the coronavirus crisis and vowed to work on enhancing the platform’s in-house technology and digital capabilities to “make things easier for existing and new advisers”.

She added: “Anacap has ambitious growth plans for us. We will target the adviser market by delivering excellent service and trying to attract more of our type of adviser — typically chartered, smaller wealth managers offering holistic advice to high-net worth clients.”

Ms Bristow said Wealthtime would also look to create strategic relationships with discretionary fund managers and advice firms to offer white label solutions.

Wealthtime was founded by a number of former senior managers from James Hay in 2006 and launched the adviser platform in 2009. 

Since then, it has grown organically to hold about £2bn assets under administration from a small number of “engaged and loyal” adviser firms.

Earlier this year, it announced it was to be acquired by private equity firm AnaCap Financial Partners in a move which marked AnaCap’s first investment in the UK platform industry, but the deal is still awaiting regulatory approval.

Ms Bristow said: “Once the deal gets regulatory approval, initially there will be two main things Wealthtime will focus on.

“The platform will scale up for future growth by making sure our infrastructure is sound. On top of this, we will improve our online and digital capabilities to enable more straightforward processing to make the journey easier for advisers.”

Ms Bristow said the improvements to its infrastructure and service would enable the platform to grow organically, but that AnaCap would also keep an eye out for future acquisitions.

She added: “It’s important any future acquisition is the right type of strategic fit to take us forward.”

It would depend on the type of platform acquired as to whether it would merge with the Wealthtime platform or sit as a separate entity, Ms Bristow said.

“We’re absolutely delighted and we’re so looking forward to getting the green light from the regulator to grow our business and extend our reach into the adviser market.

“We had plans before the coronavirus to enhance our digital capabilities and that remains in place. It really has been business as usual.”

Investment in the adviser platform space has increased dramatically in the past few years, as the rate of mergers and acquisitions speeds up and firms look to increase their share of the advised platform market.

M&G is the latest firm to delve into the world of platform mergers and acquisitions, announcing this week (May 27) it would buy the Ascentric platform from Royal London.

Embark Group has also expanded its platform position in the past year, buying both the Zurich platform and the advised business of Alliance Trust Savings.