Embark agrees to buy adviser and partnership business of ATS

Hannah Godfrey reports...

Embark Group has agreed to acquire the advised and partnership client books of Alliance Trust Savings (ATS) from Interactive Investor for an undisclosed amount.

The transaction will bring more than £6bn of assets under administration (AUA) to the retirement and platform giant, along with 30,000 new clients to Embark, taking the total scale of the Embark Group to over £22bn AUA on behalf of more than £180,000 consumer clients.

The deal also includes the purchase of the ATS building in Dundee, which will become Embark’s platform operation centre and group headquarters, with platform service partner FNZ also occupying space in the building.

It follows investment giants BlackRock, Legg Mason and Merian Chrysalis Investment Company taking a combined stake of nearly 40% in the business, raising £39.4m for the firm.

Embark, which describes itself as the UK’s fastest-growing digital retirement platform, owns providers including Rowanmoor and Hornbuckle.

Embark Group CEO Phil Smith (pictured) said: “This acquisition presents a perfect opportunity to accelerate our growth strategy by acquiring a book of platform assets with high self-invested personal pension penetration, as well as complementary distribution relationships.”

Smith said the deal provided an “excellent opportunity” to establish a centre for its operations and growth in Scotland, and reinforced its “position as one of the fastest growing disruptors in the UK investment savings and platform market.”

Interactive Investor chief executive officer Richard Wilson added: “I am delighted with this outcome. It is a good result for all concerned.

“Embark is the right partner to take the advisory and partnership business forward, with Dundee remaining an important platform and employment centre. The ATS jobs have been protected which was a key consideration and I have no doubt they will take the business from strength to strength.”