Today we are pleased to announce that the Embark Group has completed the purchase of all trading assets of Liberty SIPP Limited (‘Liberty’) via its subsidiary EBS Pensions Limited (‘EBS’).
The combined business, operationally led by Liberty Directors John Fox and Julie Dean, brings together £6.8bn AuA, a combined book of 32k SIPP clients, a large and competent FTE base with a solid infrastructure on which to continue its strong growth trajectory. The newly merged business is profitable on day one and will result in additional synergies downstream. It will be headquartered within the Embark Group in Greater Manchester, with a satellite operation in London.
The consideration is undisclosed, however, Embark will inject £2m of additional regulatory capital into EBS to support scale and growth for the business. Embark will also provide financial and operational support to the shareholders of Liberty to facilitate the orderly wind-up of its business.
Going forward, the transferring Liberty SIPP products will be re-branded under the EBS banner, although they will be maintained on the current terms and conditions. Downstream the clients of these products will gain access to the broader services of the Embark Group.
This transaction brings the total SIPP scale of the Embark Group to c56k schemes and c140k consumer clients with total Group AuA of c£15bn, following five full years of activity since the Group’s inception in 2013.
Phil Smith, CEO of the Embark Group, says: “This transaction, at this time, provides protection for the consumer clients of Liberty. It is also highly positive for the employees of both businesses and will further improve the growth trajectory for wider stakeholders of the Embark Group. Fundamentally, the ex-Liberty team, their clients and distribution partners will thrive with the supportive financial strength, scale, and technology resources of the Embark Group.
John Fox, Managing Director of Liberty SIPP, says: “The timing and cultural fit of this transaction is excellent for all of us at Liberty. We are moving from being one of the fastest growing small players in the SIPP market, to driving the continued growth of one of the largest sector players. We have many complementary strengths and capabilities but share a clear passion for consumer outcomes and service. We look forward with excitement, in what has been a challenging period for the SIPP market.
Questions & Answers
What was the reasoning behind this transaction?
Over recent years the personal pensions market has changed considerably and it is becoming ever more apparent that scale, a strong financial backing and skilled people across a range of disciplines are crucial to long-term success. The Embark Group is one of the top players in the sector and demonstrates all of these characteristics. This deal therefore will bring surety to the future of our business and employees.
Will anything change for current clients?
There will not be a dilution to the service received by existing clients. Through time, as synergies are created, you can expect to see enhancements to the overall service offering for the combined business.
Will there be a round of redundancies?
No. The teams at Liberty SIPP and EBS will be retained, in order to ensure service continuity for the clients of the newly combined business.
I have further questions. Who should I speak with?
Please contact your usual representative from EBS Pensions, who will be happy to answer your queries.