Mattioli Woods has set its sights on further takeovers of both advice firms and the self-invested personal pension portfolios of failed firms.
In its final results for the year ended May 31, 2019, the wealth management firm reported that the number of Sipp and Ssas schemes administered had increased to 5,068 at year end 2019 from 4,699 in 2018, with scheme numbers enhanced by the acquisition of SSAS Solutions in March this year.
In prior years, Mattioli Woods has been appointed to administer a number of client books from failed Sipp firms, including schemes previously administered by Stadia Trustees, HD Administrators, Pilgrim trustee Services and The Freedom Sipp.
Mattioli Woods stated: “In recent years we have been appointed to operate or wind-up a number of Sipp portfolios following the failure of their previous operators, with lost schemes including the transfer of certain members of these distressed portfolios to more appropriate arrangements.
“There has also been some negative publicity for the pension market over the last few years, with certain Sipp and Ssas operators in the spotlight due to issues with esoteric and non-standard investments, while the general economic environment has reduced some consumers' focus on pension savings.
“While we anticipate continued regulatory scrutiny of the pension market, the market opportunity remains strong, with Sipp and Ssas arrangements still benefitting from the introduction of the pension freedoms and being favoured as a way of allowing individuals to have greater access, control, flexibility and responsibility over their pension savings."
It added: “Sipps are increasingly the pension vehicle of choice for the mass affluent and having been appointed to administer Sipps previously operated by a number of failed operators in recent years we anticipate there may be some similar opportunities for the group over the next few years.”
According to its results, a total of 762 new Sipp and Ssas clients joined Mattioli Woods in the year. But this was down from 1,335 new clients who joined this side of the business in the previous year.
The wealth management company also expects to see an increase in decumulation over the next year as the next generation approaches retirement.
Mattioli Woods stated: “We like to see our clients withdrawing funds to enjoy in their retirement and anticipate there will continue to be natural outflows from our clients' Sipp and Ssas schemes, particularly as the 'baby boom' generation reaches retirement.
“We expect any such decumulation to have a positive impact on the group's results, linking-in with the provision of advice around the cascading of wealth through the generations, inheritance tax and other planning.”
Prior to the acquisition of SSAS Solutions, in August 2018 Mattioli Woods bought West Midlands advice business Broughtons Financial Planning for £4m in cash and shares.
Following on from this, the firm is now eyeing further acquisitions in this area.
The firm stated: “We will seek to build on our track record of successful acquisitions by continuing to assess a diverse pipeline of potential acquisition opportunities that meet our strict criteria, believing further consolidation within our core markets remains likely.”