Platforms  

Praemium looks for buyer for UK platform

Praemium looks for buyer for UK platform

Praemium is to sell its UK platform business after a strategic review.

The Australian-headquartered platform provider released a statement to the Australian stock exchange today (July 14) announcing the proposed divestment of its international business, which includes the UK platform and businesses in Jersey, Dubai and Hong Kong and its customer relationship management systems Wealthcraft and Plum.

The board of the firm supports this decision.

It said the review, which began in May, showed that while the platform was enjoying strong sales and revenue momentum, it remained at a disadvantage to its competitors due to its smaller scale.

The statement added the sale “would allow the firm to focus its financial and leadership resources on further accelerating its growth trajectory in the Australian platform market”.

The firm has appointed Deloitte Corporate Finance to undertake the sales process. 

Managing director of the Praemium UK & international business Mark Sanderson said: “The group board recognises and is rightly very proud of the international team’s achievements to date.

"It can see the clear potential for capitalising on the international business’s strong growth over the last couple of years. However, it also recognises that realising that impressive potential requires a parent focussed on the markets in which the international business operates.

"We have not formally begun a sale process yet, however, since announcing our strategic review back in May, we have received a great deal of interest from a diverse range of parties.

"That said, the fit and focus of any potential new owners have to be right for us and right for our clients.”

Ian McKenna, founder of AdviserSoftware.com, said the announcement should attract significant attention from potential UK purchases, especially in the platform and asset management space.

He said: “Advice tech businesses are already very much in vogue with private equity firms and over the last decade most of the independent practice management systems have been acquired by platforms or asset managers. 

“This includes Abrdn’s purchase of Focus Solutions in 2010, Invesco‘s purchase of Intelliflo, Schroder acquiring Enable via the purchase of Benchmark Capital, and Transact parent Integrafin buying Time4Advice at the start of this year. 

“It is rare for an independent practice management system to become available, especially one that has recently had a major technology upgrade.

"There are many reasons why this could be a very attractive purchase for several organisations.”

sally.hickey@ft.com