Alliance Trust Savings sold for £40m
Dundee-based wealth manager Alliance Trust has sold its flat-fee platform Alliance Trust Savings to Interactive Investor in a £40 million dealt that will also see control of Alliance Trust’s office building in Dundee change hands.
The deal will take the combined platform to £35bn in assets under administration split among 400,000 customers.
Alliance Trust said ATS makes up just 1.3 per cent of its portfolio, and the sale will allow it to build its global equity portfolio, where the proceeds of the sale will be invested.
This will be a key area of focus for Alliance Trust, the firm says, after selling in-house investment management arm Alliance Trust Investments to Liontrust, and, more recently, the sale of the trust’s private equity assets.
The future of ATS had long been that subject of speculation which was confirmed July when bosses said they were in discussions with potential new owners.
The platform has suffered mixed fortunes in recent years, having only returned to profitability after reporting a £5.2m loss in 2016 and the departure of a number of key staff including chief executive Patrick Mill at the end of last year.
The sale marks further consolidation amongst the few platforms operating the flat-fee structure, after II picked up TD Direct last year and agreed to keep its own charging model after the acquisition.
Interactive Investor also acquired the white label share-dealing businesses from Trustnet Direct, Telegraph Investor, The Motley Fool and Share Price in October.
Alliance Trust chairman Robert Smith said: “ are highly complementary and ATS customers, many of whom are Alliance Trust shareholders, will benefit from Interactive Investor’s similar low flat-fee structure, as well as its increased scale and focus.”
Recently, ATS suffered service issues during an upgrade with technology provider GBST, which also powers platforms like AJ Bell and Aegon.
GBST also sits behind the Interactive Investor Sipp administered by Barnett Waddingham.
Lord Smith of Kelvin, chairman of Alliance Trust, said: “The board is pleased to announce the sale of ATS to Interactive Investor. The two businesses are highly complementary and ATS customers, many of whom are Alliance Trust shareholders, will benefit from Interactive Investor’s similar low flat-fee structure, as well as its increased scale and focus. A key consideration for the board was a commitment to maintaining ATS’ presence in Scotland. We are therefore very pleased that ii (Interactive Investor) plans to invest in ATS’ Dundee operating centre.”
Richard Wilson, chief executive of Interactive Investor, said: “This is another important step in our ambition to build the UK’S best investment platform.
“The acquisition brings together the country’s two largest fixed price providers, adding significant scale to ii (Interactive Investor), and reinforcing our ability to deliver excellent choice, value and service to all our customers.”