Investments  

Sipp giant Embark unveils rival platform

Sipp giant Embark unveils rival platform

Self-invested personal pension provider Embark has launched its own platform, aimed at both advisers and private clients.

Embark, which currently administers £11bn of assets, said the new platform will charge 10 basis points (0.10 per cent) for some clients and services.

The platform is aimed at clients in both the accumulation and decumulation phase.

In addition to Sipps, the platform will also offer Isas and Junior Isas, third party investment accounts and general investment accounts.

Last week, Embark announced its intention to float on the stock market via an initial public offering (IPO)

Following a period of rapid expansion, Embark now provides services to around 110,000 consumers.

In recent years Embark, which is the parent company of Sipp provider Hornbuckle, has been highly acquisitive, creating a giant in the self-invested personal pensions space.

Last year it bought Rowanmoor Group and earlier this year it snapped up EBS Management from rival Charles Stanley.

It also recently bought DFM research firm Discus.

Speaking on the launch of the platform, Phil Smith, chief executive of Embark, said: “There has never been a greater need for financial advice, although in recent years access to ‘full fat’ human advice has largely become the domain of the more affluent.

“This ‘advice gap’ is amplified by pension freedoms. Even though an individual’s decision to access their pension savings is one of the most complex they will make, according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), less than a third of savers and investors are taking any professional advice.

“It largely boils down to cost. Financial advisers find it difficult to profitably service those with limited assets. Recent research indicated that 69 percent of advisers have turned away potential clients in the past year.

“To address this issue, the recent Financial Advice Market Review called for “new and more cost-effective ways of delivering advice and guidance to consumers”. The Embark Group has stepped up to the plate and developed a new low-cost open architecture platform to help advisers fill the advice gap.”

David.Thorpe@ft.com