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Rowanmoor Sipp closes to new business

Rowanmoor Sipp closes to new business

Embark has closed the Rowanmoor Sipp to new business and will instead direct clients to its new Full Sipp in a move to simplify under one brand.

The Rowanmoor Sipp remains open to existing members but any new business will now go down the Embark route.

The move comes after Embark carried out a significant management reshuffle earlier this year, which saw both the managing director and head of Sipp operations at Rowanmoor resign, and the business move to a single management team to oversee all of its pension activities going forward.

Paul Downing, who was managing director of Embark Services, became chief executive of Embark Pensions, which runs all four subsidiaries.

Mr Downing said: “Putting all Sipp new business through Embark Pensions was a straight-forward decision to avoid the overhead of maintaining different sets of literature and processes. 

“It was also an entirely natural decision to focus on Embark Pensions given that more than 90 per cent of our Sipp new business flows were already flowing through it. This will ensure that we’re continuing to best deliver value to customers.”

Last month (July 3), Embark launched its Full Sipp to run alongside its existing Options Sipp.

The Full Sipp allows for non-standard investments, such as property, and is therefore seen as a direct replacement for the Rowanmoor Sipp. 

Rowanmoor Sipp has come under criticism in recent years for holding investments that have tanked in value.

Investors have previously told FTAdviser they were facing difficulty as returns from their overseas property investments have fallen short of expectations, often not covering the annual cost of running the Sipps.

Meanwhile the Options Sipp is low cost and only allows standard investments.

Embark also closed its EBS Sipp and EBS Ssas to new business on June 30, 2020 with new business enquiries being dealt with via Embark Pensions.

A statement on its website said: “There is no impact to any of your clients that already have one of these products; they can still make contributions, invest funds and make withdrawals in exactly the same way as before.

“All new Sipp applications for the Embark Group are processed through Embark Pensions.”

Embark Pensions is made up of four subsidiaries, Embark Services, EBS Pensions, Rowanmoor Personal Pensions and Rowanmoor Executive Pensions.

amy.austin@ft.com

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