Embark Group has agreed to acquire several businesses of insurance giant Zurich for an undisclosed fee.
It will acquire Zurich’s investment and retail platform business (Sterling ISA Managers) and its authorised corporate director (ACD) and investment management business (Zurich Investment Services (UK)).
The firm said the deal will increase its presence in the UK investment savings sector.
The deal will bring around £11bn ($14.2bn, €12.9bn) in assets under management and an advised book of more than 130,000 clients to Embark.
It will also enable Embark to develop retirement investment pathway solutions and support its workplace, pensions and savings propositions in 2020.
Embark and Zurich have also entered into a five-year partnership agreement to develop and deploy 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”.
Phil Smith, Embark Group chief executive, said: “This acquisition is perfectly aligned to our growth strategy and duly establishes Embark as a significant player in the UK retirement and savings market.
“The deal brings considerable assets, demonstrable distribution and investment capabilities, and most importantly one of the best teams in the industry to Embark.
“We are also excited by the potential of our new digital partnership with Zurich UK, and the future innovations we will bring to the market through it.
“This deal takes Embark’s group assets under management to well in excess of £33bn as we continue to disrupt the UK investment savings and platform market.”
Jim Sykes, Zurich UK’s head of UK life, said: “This is an excellent outcome for all parties.
“Although our Wealth platform is a strong and successful business, we believe the needs of customers and advisers would be better served by an owner that is focused on investing in this specialist area.
“Embark is ideally placed to take the platform to the next stage in its development. In turn, this allows us to focus our resources on our protection business where we see the greatest growth opportunities.
“We are excited by our new retail protection partnership with Embark, which is a further signal of our intent in this market.”
This transaction follows Embark’s recent purchase of the advised and partnership assets of Alliance Trust Savings.