Standard Life advice arm calls off Almary Green takeover

The financial planning division of Standard Life said that talks have broken down over a deal to buy an adviser that looks after about £400 million of assets.

Standard Life's 1825 arm said it could not reach an agreement with Almary Green. Picture: Neil Hanna
Standard Life's 1825 arm said it could not reach an agreement with Almary Green. Picture: Neil Hanna

The Edinburgh-based life and pensions giant’s advice arm, 1825, said it had “not proved possible” to reach an agreement on the acquisition of East Anglian business Almary Green and both parties have “mutually agreed to end discussions at this time”.

When the proposed tie-up was first announced in March, Standard Life said the deal would have helped to accelerate its ambition of building a nationwide financial planning business of “significant scale”.

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But Carl Lamb, founder and managing director Almary Green Investments, said: “In the interests of certainty for our clients and staff we have agreed with 1825 to end discussions at this time. We remain focused on delivering a high quality service to our clients.”

Almary Green, which provides personal advice to 1,900 clients, was founded in 2001. The firm, which is headquartered in Norwich, serves the East Anglian region, has more than 40 employees.

Standard Life launched 1825 following last year’s purchase of Pearson Jones, the wealth management arm of Skipton Building Society. Shortly after announcing its plans to buy Almary Green, it struck a deal to Scottish firm Munro Partnership, which has assets under advice of more than £600m.

Established in 1982, Munro Partnership has grown from one office in Ayr with additional bases in Glasgow and Hamilton. It will form 1825’s Scottish regional office, from where the business will seek to expand across Scotland.

Other recent takeovers by 1825 include London financial planner Baigrie Davies and Crewe-based Jones Sheridan. When that latter deal completes, the enlarged group will have 63 financial planners advising more than 7,400 clients on some £3 billion of assets.

Steve Murray, chief executive of 1825, said: “We wish Almary Green all the best and continued success. 1825 continues to focus on building a UK-wide financial planning business and we see huge opportunities. The acquisitions of Pearson Jones, Baigrie Davies and Munro Partnership are complete and Jones Sheridan continues to progress positively.”