Octopus to acquire wealth technology business for £10m

Octopus's Sam Handfield-Jones

Octopus's Sam Handfield-Jones

Octopus Group has agreed to buy Bath-based wealth technology business Seccl Technology for £10m, subject to regulatory approval.

Seccl aims to help financial advisers, wealth managers, discretionary fund managers and fintech companies deliver faster, cheaper and more flexible platform solutions to help manage and administer clients' money.

The firm currently has around £10m of assets on its platform and around 300 customers. Octopus will provide ongoing investment as the business, which is currently pre-revenue, continues to grow.

Seccl will continue to be led by its co-founders, CEO David Harvey and chairman Hugo Thorman, alongside Octopus's Sam Handfield-Jones who will become co-head of Seccl.

Handfield-Jones, director of growth and innovation at Octopus, told Investment Week the purchase was "a natural evolution in our ability to be indispensable within the advice and wealth management space".

Handfield-Jones added that there are "huge opportunities" for Seccl in the long term. "Within wealth management as a whole, we haven't seen a fraction of what will happen in the future in terms of access and integration in terms of how artificial intelligence is going to make a big impact on the industry," he added.

"Frankly, you don't even see many mobile apps knocking around which, given the majority of people now transact on mobile, shows how far wealth management has to come."

Octopus said it would look to expand Seccl's 13-strong team once the deal completes, adding engineering, product and design staff, some of whom will move over from Octopus Wealth.

For smaller advice firms who might prefer an ‘off-the-shelf' solution, Seccl and Octopus will also build a full-service platform offering investment integration alongside Octopus Cash, the Octopus Investments cash management solution, it continued.

Handfield-Jones said: "We want to empower firms in the UK in advice, investment and this space is one which doesn't have much competition and access is actually relatively limited unless you're massive.

"Hopefully it will open up choice for small and medium sized firms and bring a bit of competition to the space as well."

David Harvey, co-founder of Seccl, said: "The platform technology space hasn't changed in 10 years and, with a handful of firms now dominating the market, the time couldn't be better for some new competition.

"Having created Seccl from scratch, rather than building on legacy systems, we operate with a fraction of the code base, which means we are cheaper, can move faster, and are ultimately open to smaller firms that can't get a shoe in with the big providers today."


This article was first published by InvestmentEurope's sister publication Investment Week