Standard Life PLC have confirmed today the full purchase of AXA Portfolio Services Ltd – trading as Elevate, in a move which will bring together 2 leading platform businesses with net combined inflows of £5.7bn.
The deal is rumoured to be worth £250m, and comes just a week after AXA confirmed the sell of their Isle of Man offshore bond business to The Life Company Consolidation Group. The French insurer have confirmed they are looking at selling off its remaining direct protection business SunLife and its non-platform investment and pension business, in a move to refocus the UK operation towards property & casualty, health and asset management.
The addition of the Elevate platform will bring an additional 160,000 customers and assets under administration (AUA) of £9.8bn, bringing the combined number of customers in the business to 350,000 and combined AUA of £36.4bn. The acquisition will be funded from Standard Life’s existing cash resources and is subject to certain conditions being met, including regulatory approvals being obtained.
Commenting on the acquisition, Barry O’Dwyer, Managing Director Corporate, Retail and Wholesale, Standard Life said:
‘I am excited about the opportunity to bring together two award winning adviser platforms at a time when the need for high quality advice has never been greater. We have a track record of successful acquisitions and an integration approach focussed on building a sustainable commercial model for the Elevate platform. Today’s announcement demonstrates further progress towards building a simplified and well diversified investment company by strengthening Standard Life’s leading position in one of our key growth channels.’
Clients and advisers are expected to benefit from the deal:
- Bringing together two leading adviser platform businesses. The transaction will create a unified business with additional scale, expertise and resources to support the rapidly growing demand from high quality financial advice businesses across the UK.
- Broadening access to market leading products and services. Elevate advisers and their clients will have the opportunity to gain access to Standard Life’s suite of propositions, including its innovative investment hub, fully flexible SIPP and drawdown capability, as well as a range of investment solutions from Standard Life Investments and Standard Life Wealth.
- Combining the distribution reach and capabilities of both Standard Life and Elevate. This acquisition expands the nationwide coverage of Standard Life’s platform and enhances its ability to attract and support the growth of the UK’s most progressive advice businesses. Advisers will also benefit from the technical and consultancy expertise of the enlarged business and the potential to access Standard Life’s discounts from some of the UK’s leading fund managers.
- Driving performance and growth. The integration of the two platforms’ operations, leveraging their FNZ common platform services, will generate value for Standard Life’s shareholders.
Standard Life’s David Tiller, Head of Adviser and Wealth Manager Propositions, added:
‘This acquisition is a clear sign of our continued commitment to lead the UK adviser platform market. It demonstrates to advisers that, as the market consolidates, supporting their businesses and meeting the evolving needs of their clients is central to the long-term strategy of Standard Life.
‘Identifying the right platform is the key to success when bringing two propositions together – Elevate was an obvious choice for us. This acquisition combines the ‘best of the best’ adviser platforms and will bring clear benefits to existing Standard Life Wrap and Elevate advisers alike.’