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Alliance Trust Savings sold to Interactive Investor

Platform costsAlliance Trust Savings has been sold to fellow flat-fee platform Interactive Investor for £40m.

II will also take control of parent company Alliance Trust’s office building in Dundee that houses ATS as part of the deal.

ATS confirmed it was in discussions with potential new owners in July, but market watchers had tipped a deal for many months before.

The platform has suffered mixed fortunes in recent years. While it did return to profitability after reporting a £5.2m loss in 2016, a number of key staff including chief executive Patrick Mill left at the end of last year.

The deal will take the combined platform to £35bn in assets under administration split among 400,000 customers.

ATS suffered service issues during an upgrade with technology provider GBST, which also powers platforms like AJ Bell and Aegon.

GBST also sits behind the the II Sipp administered by Barnett Waddingham.

The sale marks further consolidation amongst the few platforms operating the flat-fee structure, after II picked up TD Direct last year and agreed to keep its own charging model after the acquisition.

II also acquired the white label share-dealing businesses from Trustnet Direct, Telegraph Investor, The Motley Fool and Share Price in October.

Alliance Trust Savings unpicked: The winners and losers from platform charge changesAlliance Trust chairman Robert Smith says: “[ATS and II] are highly complementary and ATS customers, many of whom are Alliance Trust shareholders, will benefit from Interactive Investor’s similar low flat-fee structure, as well as its increased scale and focus.”

Alliance Trust says that ATS makes up just 1.3 per cent of its portfolio, and the sale would allow it to build its global equity portfolio, where the proceeds of the sale will be invested.

This will be a key area of focus for Alliance Trust, the firm says, after selling in-house investment management arm Alliance Trust Investments to Liontrust, and, more recently, the sale of the trust’s private equity assets.


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