Rowanmoor reports 27% client base growth

Rowanmoor reports 27% client base growth

Embark Group subsidiary Rowanmoor has seen strong growth in its client base during the 2017 financial year.

The self-invested personal pension (Sipp) provider reported a year on year net client base growth of 27 per cent, taking its total Sipp scheme numbers to 6,728.

The results come after EBS Pensions Limited, another subsidiary of Embark, reported its Sipp and Ssas schemes reached a record high of 16,600 during 2017 due to a growth in its net client base.

Embark Services, meanwhile, which provides Sipps and Ssas under the Embark and Hornbuckle brands, has reversed its post-tax loss of £1.9m in 2016 to a trading surplus (after tax) of £0.9m.

Rowanmoor’s profits after tax have gone down to £0.2m in 2017 from £0.5m in the previous year as the company redistributed fees received to its sister businesses.

Rowanmoor was bought by Embark in July 2016 and has since seen its services and products aligned with the wider group.

Lucy Matthews, managing director of Rowanmoor, said: "2017 was the first full year under the ownership of our parent company, Embark Group.

"Being part of a large specialist pension and platform business has enabled material improvement in our operations, cost base and service delivery.

"We are very pleased to report strong client growth for the business as a result, and we look forward to a re-bound in underlying profitability in 2018."

The business said it believes in bespoke Sipp services and was looking to growth further organically going forward.

In November last year Embark also launched its own platform aimed at clients in both the accumulation and decumulation phase.

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

Phil Smith, group CEO of Embark, said: "The market for complex Sipps is exceptionally competitive at this time, and to report such solid growth numbers is testament to the technical excellence, and client service quality of our Rowanmoor team.

"As we leverage our group strengths into Rowanmoor, its financial performance will come on in leaps and bounds."

However, not all is rosy at Rowanmoor.

It emerged in June some clients of Rowanmoor were unhappy about the returns they received on their offshore investments in their Sipps.

They claimed the Sipp fees were rendering their pensions lossmaking.

Rowanmoor said at the time it had controlled its intake with regards to this particular offshore investment but was not responsible for delivering a return to investors on the investments they hold, which was separate from the fees it charges.

It was also not responsible for client suitability, which was the responsibility of the clients' advisers, it added.