Pensions giant Standard Life is expanding its adviser platform business with the acquisition of Elevate from rival insurer Axa.
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will add more than 160,000 customers to the Edinburgh-based group’s books and bring with it assets under administration of £9.8 billion.
Once complete, the acquisition will see Standard Life’s adviser platform have combined assets under administration of £36.4bn and some 350,000 customers.
David Tiller, the firm’s head of adviser and wealth manager propositions, said: “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.”
Standard Life said that Elevate advisers and their clients will be able to access its range of products, including its investment hub, flexible self-invested personal pension and drawdown capability, as well as investment solutions from Standard Life Investments and Standard Life Wealth.
It added that the integration of the two platforms’ operations would “generate value for Standard Life’s shareholders”.
In February, Standard Life said pre-tax operating profits for 2015 grew 9 per cent to £665 million, driven by a 10 per cent jump in fee-based revenues to almost £1.6 billion.
Today’s deal comes the day after fellow Edinburgh-based life and pensions firm Aegon said it was acquiring wealth manager BlackRock’s UK defined contribution (DC) platform and administration business in a move that would add about £12bn of assets and 350,000 customers.
Aegon chief executive Adrian Grace said: “The combined strength and breadth of expertise makes us a compelling choice. With employers demanding additional solutions to meet employees’ needs to and through retirement, workplace savings are no longer just about traditional DC pensions.
“This makes it an exciting market and with an expectation it will triple in size over the next ten years, we are well positioned to take advantage.”