Schroders takes stake in Best Practice

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Schroders has taken a stake in Best Practice and its parent company Benchmark Capital for an undisclosed sum, Fund Strategy’s sister publication Money Marketing has revealed.

The size of the stake has not been made public, though it is understood to be “significant”.

As well as network Best Practice, Benchmark Capital includes chartered IFA Aspect 8, network and chartered financial planning firm TEvolution Wealth, its platform Fusion Wealth and technology firm Creative Technologies.

Under the terms of the deal, Schroders group chief executive Peter Harrison will join the board of Benchmark Capital as chairman. Schroders intermediary director Robin Stoakley and global head of wealth Andrew Ross will also join as non-executive directors.

Ian Cooke will remain a core owner of the business and will continue as chief executive of Best Practice and Benchmark Capital. He says Best Practice and Aspect 8 will continue to offer independent advice.

Schroders UK intermediary co-head James Rainbow says: “The UK intermediary market is one of strategic importance to Schroders, it is one of our largest markets and one we have been in for a long time. Equally, we’re aware that market is changing. This partnership opens up a range of opportunities for us to broaden the range of services that we provide to our core intermediary clients, and the opportunity to deepen relationships with those advisers.”

He adds: “This is the start of a new relationship. We see a tremendous number of potential opportunities with our existing adviser clients, both in the UK and internationally.”

Benchmark Capital chief executive Ian Cooke says: “The core of what we do is a unified technology suite. We can provide platform services, direct-to-consumer services, compliance services for large organisations, and now Schroders can provide this alongside asset management.

“We looked at other routes to push our business forward, but there was a strong cultural alignment with Schroders. It also gives us international opportunities that we didn’t have access to before.”

The deal is expected to complete early next year.