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Royal London sells off £14bn Ascentric platform

Firm says it remains ‘firmly committed to the adviser market’ after M&G deal


Investment giant M&G has agreed to acquire Royal London’s digital wrap and wealth management platform for IFAs.

The acquisition of Ascentric will bring £14bn ($17.2bn, €15.7bn) of assets under administration to M&G, as well as relationships with more than 1,500 advisory firms acting on behalf of over 90,000 individual customers.

John Foley, chief executive of M&G, said in a trading update on 27 May: “This deal strengthens our position in the UK savings and investment market, complementing our existing offering to advisers and customers with a well-established digital wealth management platform.

“Ascentric’s platform will also accelerate our ability to provide a wider range of M&G and Prudential investment solutions to more customers, through the tax wrappers and service propositions they favour. Advisers will also benefit as we invest to grow the platform.”

The deal will allow M&G to offer third-party discretionary fund management (DFM) services, as well as individual savings account (Isa), self-invested personal pension (Sipp) and general investment account (GIA) wrappers on a single platform.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed and the acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.

Strategic review

The sale follows the completion of Ascentric’s re-platforming in 2019 and the conclusion of a strategic review led by  Barry O’Dwyer, Royal London chief executive.

O’Dwyer said: “As part of our strategic review of the business, we explored a number of options for Ascentric.

“The business has been performing well following its re-platforming and we sought an outcome that would take it to its next phase of growth.

“At Royal London, we still remain firmly committed to the adviser market as we drive through a major digital transformation programme and develop new capabilities to help advisers better meet the needs of their customers.”

Ascentric is the trading name for the group of businesses sold, which includes Wrap IFA Services Limited and its subsidiaries.

Royal London acquired a majority holding of Ascentric in 2007 and it became a wholly owned subsidiary of the firm in 2014.


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