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Polin promises 'meaty' M&A for Sanlam after PE deal

Polin promises 'meaty' M&A for Sanlam after PE deal
Jonathan Polin, chief executive of Sanlam UK

The chief executive of Sanlam UK has said the business will be conducting more "meaty" M&A deals in the advice market after its private equity deal goes through.

Jonathan Polin said Oaktree Capital Management's deal to buy Sanlam UK for £140mn would probably go through by the end of this month.

He said Sanlam Group had sold its UK arm because it decided to focus on its core business in South Africa.

Polin said: "Sanlam has been largely supportive of us but being a large group, it has large capital requests and obviously the large parts of the business and the more core parts of the business are going to get the capital.

"We couldn't do any meaty M&A and we will now be doing that.

"We have got a number of smaller acquisitions that will come about very soon after our acquisition is completed."

Polin said Sanlam UK would be rebranded shortly, with work on this taking place at the moment.

The advice business will remain restricted, which he said would be positive for its clients and for its advisers.

Polin added: "Everyone is out there to consolidate and get to scale, and get to scale through acquisition but there are many flavours of that."

He explained Sanlam would focus on those advisers who were looking to retire, and those who were looking to use the company's systems and products before transitioning out of their firms.

As part of the Sanlam Group's decision to leave the UK, it has also sold its pension business to pensions consolidator Chesnara for £39mn.

Sanlam UK, which consists of an advice business and a discretionary fund manager, has been sold to Oaktree while Sanlam's asset management arm will remain owned by the South African group.

Last year, Sanlam also decided to "wind down" its adviser network Sanlam Partnerships.

Polin said this process had taken a little longer than he expected due to network members being delayed in getting their applications processed by the Financial Conduct Authority, but he expected it to be completed shortly after the end of this tax year.

He added: "We would need to have put a lot more technology and support behind making it a viable addition to the business, to make it a network of a big enough size."

damian.fantato@ft.com