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Deal secures jobs

Alliance Trust Savings platform sold to Embark Group

Phil Smith Embark Group

Phil Smith: ‘perfect opportunity’

Interactive Investor, the UK retail investment platform, is selling the advised and partnership businesses of Dundee-based Alliance Trust Savings to Embark Group for an undisclosed amount.

The divestment will affirm Interactive Investor’s focus on serving the UK direct-to-consumer market.

The sale includes the transfer of all ATS staff and buildings, retaining skilled jobs in the city. The building will now be owned by Embark Group, and will become the company’s corporate headquarters. Platform technology provider FNZ will also take a space in the building. 

Businesses within the Embark Group have been operating for more than 40 years and trade under the brands Embark, Embark Pensions, Vested, Rowanmoor, EBS, The Adviser Centre, DISCUS and Hornbuckle.

Interactive Investor completed the acquisition of ATS from Alliance Trust in June this year, bringing together the UK’s 2nd and 7th largest retail investment platforms with combined assets under administration of £30 billion.

The company completed the migration of the ATS’ D2C customers onto the interactive investor platform on 14 October.

Commenting on the divestment, Richard Wilson, chief executive of Interactive Investor, said: “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.”

Phil Smith, Embark group chief executive, said: “This acquisition presents a perfect opportunity to accelerate our growth strategy by acquiring a book of platform assets with high SIPP penetration, as well as complementary distribution relationships.”

This reinforces our position as one of the fastest growing disruptors in the UK investment savings and platform market

– Phil Smith, Embark

Mr Smith, is a former managing director and global management committee member at Barclays Wealth. His career also included Fortis Investments, the global asset manager of the Fortis Group, and director-level roles at Arthur Andersen, Prudential M&G and Prudential Corporation Asia.

“This takes our group AuA to well in excess of £22bn and reinforces our position as one of the fastest growing disruptors in the UK investment savings and platform market.

“It also offers an excellent opportunity to establish a centre for our operations and growth in Scotland, enabling us to access local talent and FinTech capabilities, assisted by cross-government support.”

Scottish Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said : “Embark’s plans to retain the site in Dundee is good news for employees and for the economy of the city.

“The Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International have been working closely with the company and will continue to provide support going forward.”

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