Hornbuckle parent eyes more deals after buying up Adviser Centre


Embark Group says it is eyeing other acquisition deals following its acquisition of investment consultancy The Adviser Centre.

City Financial’s investment research arm was acquired by Embark last week for an undisclosed sum.

The deal sees the The Adviser Centre team, including investment director Peter Toogood, move with immediate effect. It will operate independently from the Embark Group and retain its name.

Embark acquired Sipp provider Rowanmoor earlier this year, and also owns rival firm Hornbuckle and the Avalon platform.

Speaking to Money Marketing, Embark chief executive Phil Smith says: “We have the capacity to continue acquiring. We see two or three opportunities in one form or another regularly. Some of them are very small, some larger and in a spread of sectors. We look at lots, we act on very few.

Smith says the firm is  interested in companies which are “very simply put, with propensity of growth” and are “a good cultural fit.”

He adds: “Our focus is on being a very good provider for our client base, whether we are at £10bn assets or £100bn assets we don’t care, and we don’t up scale for scale’s sake.”

Toogood says: “Embark Group has big pockets and will acquire more. For us, this was a logical place to go.The next stage of consulting is to go bespoke. A lot of platforms will need to do this and be better at client reporting.”

Smith says firms such as The Adviser Centre are a “real growth accelerator”.

He says: “Why don’t modern pension providers have an extensive investment research service? This is a fundamental part of the business.”