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Sipp provider sees losses soar to £2.4m

Sipp provider sees losses soar to £2.4m

Embark Services, previously known as Hornbuckle Mitchell, saw its losses before tax increase by £901,000 to £2.4m during 2016 due to increase in investments.

At the end of 2015, the firm registered a loss of £1.5m.

The company is made up of self-invested personal pension (Sipp) and platform businesses Hornbuckle, Avalon and Rowanmoor.

According to Paul Smith, chief executive of Hornbuckle, Embark Services “continued to invest heavily” across its business.

Embark Services also completed the migration of the legacy Sipp portfolio on to a new administration platform, which is managed by Embark Corporate Services, a new company of the group.

Net cash used in investment activities increased from £1.9m at the end of 2015 to £2.1m in 2016, according to the company’s annual report.

These new investments resulted in the company’s operating losses, which are in line with Embark’s expectations through this stage of development, said Mr Smith.

However, the firm had a net increase of 17 per cent in clients, to 13,715.

The biggest growth was in small self-administered schemes (Ssas), of 23.3 per cent.

Sipp products hiked 16.6 per cent.

Embark Services believes the UK Sipp market will continue to grow at pace in the medium to long term.

Mr Smith said: “We see a range of growth areas for member-directed pension schemes, with compound annual growth rates (CAGR) of over 10 per cent a year across the whole Sipp space, and of 4 to 5 per cent a year in bespoke/complex Sipp and Ssas schemes."

He added that “the combination of higher capital requirements and levels of regulation will trigger further consolidation, thus reducing competition and limiting propositions”.

He said: “We fully expect the market will look towards scale players that offer a full waterfront service where those businesses are investing in technology, have deep competence in multiple propositions and service areas, and can offer a safe haven for clients’ assets over the long turn.”

Last week, John Moret, the principal at advice firm MoretoSipps, said that the Sipp market is expected to grow to £350bn by 2020.

At the present, there are 1.75m Sipp clients, with £230bn in assets, he added.

maria.espadinha@ft.com