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Interactive Investor buyout ‘strengthens voice’ for flat fees

Interactive Investor buyout ‘strengthens voice’ for flat fees

Interactive Investor’s newly completed buyout of rival consumer platform The Share Centre will “strengthen the voice” for flat fees, its chief executive has said.

The platform announced today (July 6) it had completed the £62m acquisition, originally announced in February, creating an enlarged business with assets under administration of £36bn.

Interactive Investor was already one of the largest direct to consumer investment platforms in terms of assets second only to Hargreaves Lansdown, and the “number one” flat fee provider.

CEO Richard Wilson said: “I am very pleased to welcome The Share Centre to Interactive Investor, further strengthening the voice for flat fees. 

“With our firms' shared values and combined strengths, we will continue to invest in award-winning content and services for our enlarged customer base, all for a simple flat fee.”

Interactive Investor has been on the front foot with investor fees in recent years, scrapping exit fees and moving to a monthly subscription model last year. In January, it ditched its regular investing fee.

Mr Wilson said the platform wanted to do “as much as it can” to make investing simple so more people could “take control of their financial future”.

The platforms pledged there would be no immediate changes for any customers and it would be business as usual for both providers.

In the coming weeks, The Share Centre customers will receive information on how their migration to the Interactive Investor platform will go ahead.

Gavin Oldham, executive chairman of Share, said: “We are delighted that customers of The Share Centre will benefit from the combined strengths of both businesses, further enhancing the high-quality customer service The Share Centre has prided itself on for many years. 

“Having spent time with the ii business in the lead up to today, it’s clear the two businesses are highly complementary and I am pleased that customers of The Share Centre will benefit from Interactive Investor’s similar low flat-fee structure, as well as its increased scale and focus.”

He said the two firms shared a common culture of supporting savers and investors in reaching their financial goals and that he looked forward to encouraging a more “participative form” of investing as a board member of the new combined business.

The pace of merger and acquisitions activity in the platforms market has been on the up over the past few years.

In the advised space Embark’s expansion in the platform space continued in November with the company’s acquisition of the Zurich platform, just months after it bought the advised business of Alliance Trust Savings from Interactive Investor.

Royal London’s Ascentric is to be bought by M&G Asset Management.

Private equity firms have also reared their heads into the platform world. Epiris bought the James Hay platform last year while Wealthtime was snapped up by AnaCap Financial Partners.

imogen.tew@ft.com

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