29 July 2021

Burges Salmon’s Corporate Finance team has advised Embark Group on its sale, which is subject to regulatory approval, to Lloyds Banking Group.

The Burges Salmon team advised Embark on all legal aspects of the transaction, which sees Lloyds acquire Embark Group Limited (EGL) and its subsidiary brands for a consideration of £390 million for the whole share capital of the Embark business. The sale excludes the Rowanmoor SIPP and SSAS administration business, which is being retained by existing shareholders.

The sale presents a significant opportunity for the Embark business to continue its rapid expansion, as a wholly owned subsidiary of Lloyds Banking Group. Lloyds will provide further investment and support to accelerate Embark’s proposition and service innovations for the intermediary sector. Embark will work closely with Lloyds to deliver its strategic objective of simplifying and modernising its proposition for mass market customers and enhancing its retirement proposition for independent financial advisers.

Embark has grown exponentially since its formation in 2013 as a digitally led retirement solutions business, enabled by its strategic partnership with market-leading asset servicing and technology provider FNZ and its ability to attract investment from world class institutions. The Embark Group, including Rowanmoor, has over £40.8bn of assets under administration on behalf of more than 425,000 clients. It achieved this by attracting billions of pounds of inflows and through the acquisitions of the advised and partnership books of Alliance Trust Savings, Zurich’s retail wealth platform and its five risk-rated Horizon multi-asset funds, which remain leading performers in their sectors.

Embark Group’s CEO, Phil Smith, says: “Over the past eight years, we are proud to have built one of the most respected and fastest growing digital retirement and savings businesses in the UK. This is a hugely significant transaction for us and it provides the perfect opportunity to create a market leading proposition for consumers, intermediaries, and strategic partners. We are hugely grateful to the team at Burges Salmon for their excellent service and enabling us to see the deal through to a successful completion.”

Burges Salmon has a long-standing relationship with Embark, which in recent years has seen the firm advise on its acquisitions of Zurich Retail Investment Platform and Zurich Investment Services and Alliance Trust Savings (ATS) from interactive investor, which enabled Embark to act upon its disruptive position in the UK investment savings sector.

Corporate Finance partner Mark Shepherd, who led the Burges Salmon team, concludes: “We have thoroughly enjoyed advising Phil and the Embark team over the years on a variety of exciting and innovative transactions. This latest deal is hugely significant for Embark, and we’re delighted to have worked so closely with the team on it, and are proud to have advised them from inception of the Embark journey through to such an important milestone project.”

Key contact

Mark Shepherd

Mark Shepherd Partner

  • Head of Private Equity
  • Corporate
  • Healthcare

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