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Schroders takes control of Benchmark Capital

Schroders takes control of Benchmark Capital

Schroders has taken control of advice business Benchmark Capital after increasing its stake in the company.

In 2016 Schroders paid £86m for a 65 per cent stake in Benchmark Capital, which owns a financial planning firm, network and a platform, but its chief executive Ian Cooke kept control of the firm because he held more voting shares.

Company accounts for Benchmark Capital have now revealed that in May Schroders increased its stake to 77 per cent, and so became the "ultimate controlling party" of the business.

It has not been revealed how much Schroders paid to increase its stake in Benchmark Capital.

During the 17 months to the end of December 2017, Benchmark Capital made a profit before tax of £8.3m, up from £4.7m for the 12 months to the end of July 2016.

Meanwhile the company's aggregate assets under administration grew from £12.9bn to £15.4bn.

Mr Cooke said Benchmark Capital had invested in its technology over the course of the period and seen "significant success" in bringing in new clients.

He said: "Going forward, the board has strengthened its belief that technology will play a much greater role in client servicing and the trend for automation of processes will continue.

"The technology suite created and developed by the group is aligned with this trend and supports the company's strategic objectives."

He added that the company had identified a number of opportunities to take its technology overseas.

Last year Mr Cooke said investment received from fund house Schroders would allow Benchmark Capital to expand into Hong Kong, Singapore and South Africa.

Benchmark Capital owns advice firm Aspect8 and network Best Practice IFA Group as well as the Fusion Wealth platform.

damian.fantato@ft.com