Embark closes deals white labelling pensions to platforms

Embark closes deals white labelling pensions to platforms

Embark Group has closed a few deals not yet communicated to the market where it is white labelling its Sipp offerings to platforms.

Its chief executive Phil Smith told FTAdviser the group was in discussion with "quite a few providers" on the topic.

The group owns Embark Services, made up of self-invested personal pension and platform businesses Hornbuckle Mitchell, Avalon and Rowanmoor which it bought earlier this year.

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Mr Smith told FTAdviser: "There is an increasing convergence of the Sipp world and the platform world, so increasingly the platform world to make money has to have really, really strong pension offerings and a number of them do not."

He added in the Sipp arena to survive and grow scale companies must do more than just follow course, and need to have a platform-like offering that is competitive otherwise the market is going to be dominated by the likes of Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell.

"For us we are playing that middle ground of who are the players who can offer services that are normally provided by brokerage platforms but will want a rich pension offering, whether that’s accumulation, drawdown, accessing model portfolios or accessing genuine self-invested trading capabilities."

He added self-branded products in its companies, rather than the Embark Group, would start coming to market early next year.

Mr Smith used the examples of Nucleus and Cofunds as platforms which do not have their own pensions but use a variety of pension providers to offer these services, and Suffolk Life as an example of a Sipp provider where a platform was not available.

"If you come with a pooled pension with all of its ancillary components then you can have an Isa or general investment account and not have to have a current account."