21 November 2019

Burges Salmon long-standing client Embark Group has agreed to acquire Zurich’s Investment and Retail Platform business (Sterling ISA Managers Limited) and its Authorised Corporate Director (ACD) and Investment Management business (Zurich Investment Services (UK) Limited) for an undisclosed consideration, enhancing its presence in the UK investment savings sector.

The acquisition will bring approximately £11 billion of Assets under Administration (AuA) and an advised book of more than 130,000 clients to Embark. It will also add an extensive distribution capability with strong reach into the adviser community and enable Embark to develop retirement investment pathway solutions and underpin its workplace, pensions and savings propositions in 2020.

Embark and Zurich have also entered into a five-year partnership agreement to develop and deploy leading edge digital life and protection products through Embark’s technology and distribution channels. The partners anticipate significant digital innovation in the market over the period, and this acquisition will enable Embark to lead in the space.

The Burges Salmon team that advised Embark was led by Corporate team partner Mark Shepherd and senior associate Douglas Streatfeild-James.

Phil Smith, Group Chief Executive at Embark group, says: “Truly outstanding performance from the Corporate and Regulatory teams at Burges Salmon. The deal could not, and would not, have been done without them. A very complex transaction, with many moving parts, executed with legal excellence. Burges Salmon remain our ‘go to’ advisers.”

Mark Shepherd adds: “Hot on the heels of advising Embark earlier in the month on its acquisition of Alliance Trust Savings, we are delighted to have been able to support the team on this transaction also, which is perfectly aligned to its growth strategy. That growth under Embark’s exceptional management team is remarkable and it is not only a privilege for us to support the delivery of that strategy, but working with them is also fun. We really feel part of the team.”

Key contact

Mark Shepherd

Mark Shepherd Partner

  • Head of Private Equity
  • Corporate
  • Healthcare

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