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SLA puts Parmenion platform up for sale

SLA puts Parmenion platform up for sale
 Credit: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Standard Life Aberdeen is to sell its Parmenion platform as it looks to simplify its offering to financial advisers.

The asset manager confirmed to FTAdviser it was exploring the sale of the Parmenion, while other reports said it could auction the service on the stock exchange as early as today (November 30).

A sale of the platform, which was first reported by Sky News, would be one of the initial major moves made by new chief executive Stephen Bird and a move away from the legacy left by former co-CEO, Martin Gilbert, who ‘ring-fenced’ the platform from other shifts in the business.

Parmenion offers model portfolios for advisers as a discretionary service, but its mere £6.5bn assets under management are overshadowed by Wrap and Elevate, SLA’s more mainstream adviser platforms.

Mr Bird said: “Parmenion is a fantastic and highly regarded business but we need to simplify our offering to financial advisers. We will focus on our two adviser platforms, Wrap and Elevate, which operate on the same core technology. 

“In the coming months we will be simplifying our model by merging their underlying technology, while retaining differentiated propositions for advisers.”

According to Sky News, SLA has already hired Fenchurch Advisory Partners to negotiate the sale which is thought to rake in around £150m to £200m.

Aberdeen Asset Management acquired Parmenion in 2016, a year before Aberdeen merged with Standard Life.

At the time, Mr Gilbert said the acquisition would ensure Aberdeen was at the “forefront of the digital revolution” in the asset management space.

Mr Gilbert retired from the firm earlier this year, shortly followed by chief executive Keith Skeoch.

Mr Bird, who until last year headed up global consumer banking at Citigroup, replaced Mr Skeoch as chief executive in September.

He inherited a struggling fund house, with a share price that had dwindled 40 per cent over the past five years.

Mr Bird said: “Since my appointment in September, I have been intensely focused on how we develop our strategy, take out cost and complexity, and reconfigure our business around our key growth vectors – our investments, adviser and direct to customer businesses.”

imogen.tew@ft.com

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