Acquisition of EBS Management PLC (‘EBS’) from Charles Stanley PLC

11 April 2017

Embark Group has announced today that it has exchanged contracts to acquire 100% of the share capital of EBS Management PLC including wholly owned subsidiaries Alpha Trustees Limited, EBS Pensioneer Trustees Limited, and EBS Self-Administered Personal Pension Plan Trustees Limited. The acquisition has been fully approved by the UK Takeover Panel but is conditional on final FCA approval and landlord’s consent to the granting of an underlease.

Going forward, the enlarged Embark Group will have over 100,000 underlying consumer clients, representing c£10.8bn of assets, across its SIPP, SSAS, ISA, GIA, Financial Planning and Corporate business activities. The business, which will employ over 500 people in the UK on completion, represents one of the few long-term players in the UK retirement space able to offer a full range of capabilities that fit all levels of client affluence and all distribution channels.

EBS represents one of very few remaining ‘scale’ transactions in the fast consolidating SIPP and SSAS sector of UK Financial Services, and underlines Embark’s stated strategy of integrating only scaled administration businesses, or businesses providing product capabilities that are clearly additive to its core retirement offering.

EBS will be retained as a subsidiary of the Embark Group, operating independently, but will share significant common infrastructure benefits and access capital support over time. All of the existing EBS team, based in London, will remain in place post sale, led by Kate Ragnauth, Director, who will continue as Principal and will join the Executive Team of Embark.

Charles Stanley and Embark will become on-going partners for SIPP and SSAS services to Charles Stanley clients. Post the change of ownership, EBS will continue to exclusively operate/administer SIPP products, distributed through both its advised and execution only channels.

Phil Smith, Group CEO of Embark, said: “The nature of the EBS business fits perfectly with our long- term plans. It has excellent people, one of the best-managed books of business in the SIPP industry, and high quality anchor distribution clients. It offers excellent value to us, and with our digital and technical capabilities, EBS will trade profitably going forward.”

Paul Abberley, CEO of Charles Stanley, commented: “We are delighted with this transaction. It is simultaneously right for all stakeholders of the EBS business, present and future, and most importantly the underlying consumers. We look forward to a long commercial partnership with the team at Embark.”

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Editors’ notes

For further information, please contact:

Four Broadgate
Roland Cross / Cara Steinson
Tel: +44 (0)20 3697 4200
Email: Roland.Cross@fourbroadgate.com / Cara.Steinson@fourbroadgate.com

About Embark Group
Embark Group is a full scale retirement solutions provider committed to acquiring, holding and developing for the long term, a range of financial services’ businesses in the UK and internationally. The company has considerable experience in developing businesses by providing access to the latest online technology and financial capital to help them grow.

The Group looks for businesses that possess the capacity for scaled growth; a proven presence in their chosen market segments; strong people with the right values, and, most importantly, that offer an opportunity for us to add value through digital delivery.

Businesses in Embark Group have been established in the retirement market for more than 30 years, and have a long history of working closely with intermediary distribution partners and high net worth clients. The Group‘s Board has extensive expertise across the pensions, insurance, banking and investment markets.

The Group is 100% privately owned and currently employs c.470 people across seven businesses in six office locations (London, Edinburgh, Leicester, Salisbury, Bolton and Tetbury). It has £8.1bn of assets under administration on behalf of over 84,000 clients.