Rowan Dartington has agreed to sell its international platform business Ardan International to RL360° Group.
Ardan International was bought by Rowan Dartington in 2014 and it was the first independent wealth platform designed exclusively for international advisers and their investors.
Following the acquisition, Ardan International will continue to operate under the Ardan brand and will operate independently of RL360 Life Insurance Company.
Graham Coxell, Rowan Dartington’s executive chairman, said: “After Rowan Dartington’s acquisition by St James’s Place last year, it is important for us to be platform independent given SJP’s focus on wealth & discretionary fund management and expansion into the international marketplace.
“We therefore decided that a sale would not only benefit Ardan International considerably - by enabling it to continue focusing on the transformation of the adviser market through its platform technology – but would also allow the Rowan Dartington Group to focus on its core competence of managing money on behalf of advisers.
“We are delighted to continue to support the Ardan platform as a DFM.”
Ardan provides a full-service platform for the adviser community globally which includes research tools, dealing, custody and client administration.
Licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority, it deals with more than 70,000 funds and securities through multiple third party life and pension wrappers.
As part of the agreement, Rowan Dartington will continue to use Ardan for its international business expansion on an outsourced basis.
David Kneeshaw, chief executive of RL360°, said: “We have made no secret of the fact that pursuing acquisitions forms part of RL360°’s strategy to build scale and support our growth plans.
“We believe Ardan International presents a significant and attractive opportunity to accelerate this objective.
“We have historically been strong supporters of the investment platform – or wrap – model and we believe having a truly independent and internationally focused platform within the RL360° Group makes strategic sense.
“I believe platforms will play an increasingly important role in international distribution as the industry faces the challenges and opportunities of regulatory change and commission disclosure.”
The RL360° Group was formed in October 2013 to support the management led buyout of RL360 Insurance Company Limited from the Royal London Group, with its financial backers Vitruvian Partners.
Richard Preston, chief executive of Ardan International, said: “With RL360° we will have the backing of a major institution and our adviser community will benefit from continued investment in our award-winning platform service – we plan to stay ahead of the game and remain truly open-architecture; with unfettered investment choice inside a growing panel of DFM, life bond, pension and trust provider solutions.”
The acquisition is subject to the approval of the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority.