Novia pledges to remain ‘adviser-centric’ post-takeover

Novia pledges to remain ‘adviser-centric’ post-takeover
Bill Vasilieff, chief executive of Novia

Novia’s chief executive has pledged the platform will remain “adviser-centric” once its takeover by private equity firm AnaCap completes.

Bill Vasilieff, chief executive of Novia, told FTAdviser that the platform was ultimately a service to advisers with a good reputation, and that the firm “planned to keep it that way”.

He said: “We’ve said to advisers that everyone’s job is safe at Novia, that advisers will continue to be serviced by the people they are today.

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“Advisers won’t really be impacted, except that in the long-run the plan is that things will continue to evolve and get better.”

His comments come after it was announced earlier today (December 15) that AnaCap Financial had bought the Novia platform in a move which brought £8.15bn of assets, 67,000 clients and more than 1,000 advice firms to its growing platform book.

It followed AnaCap’s acquisitions of Wealthtime in December last year and Amber Financial Investments in July 2020.

Mr Vasilieff said the deal would help Novia continue its “constant development strategy” for advisers.

He said: “All the time we are developing new functionality. We’re about to launch a new capital gains tax tool, we recently launched a new adviser zone.

“So we’re doing a lot of new things. The main thing is we’ve partnered with a business that is absolutely committed to this market, and they’ve got a lot of money for when we want to develop new things and functionality for advisers.”

Mr Vasilieff added that the platform market would continue to “grow and change” looking forward but noted that predominantly, it was a growth market.

“Platforms dominate the savings market now. There’s new entrants coming in, a bit of consolidation, there’s a lot happening,” he said. “With all the change, we need to work with AnaCap and look at how we drive it forward.”

Despite there being a number of big players in the UK wealth management platform scene, Mr Vasilieff was not worried about Novia’s space within it.

He said: “Size isn’t everything. You look at some of the big players, and they’re still losing a fortune each year.

“What we find is that some of the bigger players will do business at any price, whereas we aim to grow a profitable business and expand.”

Mr Vasilieff said there would be no job losses at Novia due to the takeover and that the company would remain headquartered in Bath.

AnaCap now boasts nearly £11bn assets under management across its three platforms and said it would continue to deploy its tech expertise to bolster the firms.

Private equity firms have increasingly reared their heads into the platform world in recent years, with Epiris scooping up James Hay’s platform last year and currently bidding against Transact for Nucleus.

The pace of wider merger and acquisitions activity in the platforms market has also been on the up.