James Hay sells SSAS book to Westbridge

James Hay has sold its closed book of small self-administered schemes (SSAS) to Westbridge SSAS for an undisclosed sum.

James Hay has sold its closed book of small self-administered schemes (SSAS) to Westbridge SSAS for an undisclosed sum.

James Hay, which last month bought rival platform Nucleus for £145m, said the disposal was another significant step in its transformation to a “retirement-focused adviser platform”.

Westbridge SSAS, based in Leicester, will take over the administration of close to 1,000 SSAS. Some 48 members of staff, based at James Hay’s Bristol office, will transfer when the deal completes later this month.

James Hay’s SSAS book had been closed for some time, it said. The last scheme taken on was in 2018. Since then the firm has focused its attention on its SIPP platform business. 

Chief executive Richard Rowney (pictured) said: “Westbridge SSAS’s specialism makes them a good long-term owner of our SSAS business, and we’re particularly pleased they value the skills and experience of our colleagues that are transferring over.

“The sale keeps us focused on our core aim of creating a financial planning and retirement-focused adviser platform, with the scale to enable greater investment in technology, products and service to meet the needs of advisers and their clients.”

Westbridge director Nathan Bridgeman added: “We’re pleased to be taking on the SSAS schemes currently managed by James Hay, and especially welcome our new colleagues to the team.

“Combining our ambition, with their specialist skills and experience in this complex area of retirement provision, will enable us to develop the book and improve the experience of both the members and their intermediaries.”