Praemium to acquire UK SIPP provider Wensley Mackay

Praemium, the Australia Stock Exchange-listed, Australia-based platform provider, said it is to acquire UK Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) provider Wensley Mackay for £600,000.

The acquisition is subject to Financial Services Authority approval, and will give the Australian platform company its first UK SIPP acquisition, a potentially key move given the UK’s recent pension reforms.

Praemium announced the deal in a statement released to the Australia Stock Exchange today.

Wesley Mackay is based in Cumbria in the UK and have been providing specialised pension products to the advisory market since 1992, including SIPPs and Small Self Administered Schemes (SASS).

Praemium currently accomodates UK investors on its discretionary investment platform, mainly catering for Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) and General Investment Accounts (GIAs). However, it noted in its statement accompanying today’s acquisition that the SIPP market is the fastest growing segment of the UK market.

As reported, Praemium last month posted a 72% increase in its annual profit, which it attributed in part to international advisers embracing its separately managed account (SMA) platform technology.

‘Investors exiting annuities’

Praemium chief executive Michael Ohanessian said:  “In the UK, platform providers have seen the retirement market open up following pension reforms introduced in April 2015 that de-mandated the use of annuity investments. Investors are exiting annuities and seeking other options for their retirement savings, with a major shift to pension schemes like SIPPs that offer a wide range of investment options.

“Accordingly, adding a SIPP solution to our UK platform proposition enhances our growth prospects by offering a complete package to our clients.

“When [these options are] coupled with [such other of ] our investment products as [our] 80% Capital Protected funds, [which] are ideal for retirees, we expect considerable upside from our UK and international distributional channels.”

Wensley Mackay managing director Paul Wensley said that he was “incredibly proud” of his company’s progress over the past 24 years, and said the Praemium acquisition represented a “fantastic opportunity”.

Gary Robinson
Head of Video and Ezines at Open Door Media Publishing. Deputy Editor, International Investment. An experienced journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as a fully qualified IFA, Gary works across both International Investment and InvestmentEurope titles. Previous video production credits include projects on BBC, C4 and SKY.

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