Embark Group enters into commercial collaborations with City Financial and acquires The Adviser Centre Limited
10 October 2016
City Financial, founder of The Adviser Centre Limited (‘The Adviser Centre’), has today entered into commercial arrangements with the Embark Group, which will see the two entities utilise their complementary capabilities to collaborate in the UK retail financial services market.
The first step in this collaboration is the transfer of ownership of The Adviser Centre (www.theadvisercentre.co.uk), the award-winning investment research and consultancy service, from City Financial to the Embark Group. The business and The Adviser Centre team, led by Investment Director Peter Toogood, move with immediate effect and will operate independently of other subsidiaries of the Embark Group. The transition has been approved by all governance bodies.
The transition will allow City Financial to focus strategically on its core investment management capabilities across both alternative and multi-asset strategies, whilst retaining full access to the research capabilities of The Adviser Centre team through its collaboration with the Embark Group.
For the Embark Group, the transition accelerates the development of its service capabilities to the UK IFA and Wealth Management sectors, adding highly-regarded and experienced investment research personnel to its existing investment due diligence resources. It also deepens its digital reach into the UK IFA sector.
This further enlargement of the Embark Group continues the journey to create one of the UK’s leading digital retirement solutions providers, offering a full breadth of services and bringing together investment and pension administration, investment research, actuarial consultancy, specialist financial planning, employee benefits and investment wrap services.
The Adviser Centre Limited will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Embark Group Limited, operating independently to that of any other Group operation, but will share significant common infrastructure benefits and access to capital support over time. The business will continue to trade under the brand (trading name) of The Adviser Centre.
Andrew Williams, Chief Executive of City Financial, commented: “I am immensely proud of what we have built over the last three years with The Adviser Centre team and see a strong future for the proposition. It is crucial that the team is able to fully align itself with an owner that has deep reach into digital services and other forms of IFA service if they are to maximise the opportunities offered in the UK retail space. We believe Embark is the ideal custodian for this next stage of the journey. I am equally pleased that we will strengthen our relationship with Embark and I look forward to increasing collaboration.”
Phil Smith, CEO of the Embark Group, commented: “Our collaboration with City Financial over the last 18 months has led progressively to this very positive transition for all concerned. The Adviser Centre’s people and their capabilities add great strength and proven depth to our Group competencies, and we are delighted to welcome them on board at an exciting time in the UK IFA space. We also look forward to collaborating with City Financial in the future, deploying our joint firepower in support of key IFA partners.”
Peter Toogood, Investment Director, The Adviser Centre, added: “We are extremely grateful to City Financial for all the support that has been provided over the past three years, from the planning, to the launch, to the on-going development of The Adviser Centre. We are joining Embark as they start to deploy the breadth of capabilities they have accumulated over the last three years, which is tremendously exciting for all of us as it affords the opportunity to expand our proposition.”
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About Embark Group
Embark Group is 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.
The Group is always seeking new opportunities and considers wholly-owned, minority interest and joint venture investments that can generate value independently or in tandem with other assets in our portfolio.
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.460 people across three businesses in seven office locations. It has £8.1bn of assets under administration on behalf of over 70,000 clients.
About The Adviser Centre
The Adviser Centre has been designed to reside at the heart of advisers’ centralised investment propositions. This online investment research and consultancy service is free-to-air for financial professionals and it provides answers to the challenges of:
- Regulation and providing robust investment advice.
- Ensuring suitability and delivering appropriate customer solutions.
- Managing customer expectations in a complex and volatile investment landscape.
- Responding to fund management changes.
The website provides a wealth of information including one-page fund factsheets that describe what to expect from a fund and how it is best utilised, Bulletins, Guidance notes, IA Sector Overviews, market views and blogs.
About City Financial Investment Company Limited
City Financial is an independent investment management firm with US$4bn in total assets and over 150 staff located globally, 50 of whom are investment professionals.
Since 2006, the company has grown through a series of acquisitions and fund launches with a focus on alternative assets in addition to a long-only multi-asset UCITS fund range. The firm currently offers six differentiated hedge fund strategies incorporating long/short global equity, credit macro, commodities, volatility, long/short Japanese equity and Asian macro.