Standard Life plc to acquire AXA Portfolio Services Limited

Posted: 4th May 2016 08:03

Acquisition of Elevate enhances Standard Life's position as a leading platform provider for advisers
  • Adds over 160,000 customers and assets under administration ("AUA") of £9.8bn
  • Enhances Standard Life's position as a leading platform provider for professional advisers increasing AUA to £36.4bn at 31 March 2016
  • Brings together two award-winning platforms to create one of the largest and fastest growing adviser platform businesses in the UK with net inflows of £5.7bn in 2015

Standard Life plc ("Standard Life") announces that, through its subsidiary Standard Life Savings Limited, it has reached an agreement to acquire the entire issued share capital of AXA Portfolio Services Limited (trading as Elevate) from AXA UK plc. 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.

The acquisition builds on Standard Life's existing strong organic growth in the UK pensions and savings market. The transaction is expected to deliver significant benefits.

The transaction creates one of the UK's largest adviser platform businesses with combined assets under administration of £36.4bn, 350,000 customers, and net asset inflows of £5.7 billion in 2015. It will deliver a number of benefits for customers and Standard Life's shareholders:

  • 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.

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."

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 business is the key to success when bringing two propositions together - Elevate was an obvious choice for us. This acquisition combines two leading adviser platforms and will bring clear benefits to existing Standard Life Wrap and Elevate advisers alike."

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