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, Money Marketing can reveal.

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 Evolution 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.

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Comments

There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Exciting news! Schroders are a well-respected and long standing prestigious British firm. I know that they share the same values as many of the firms that use Benchmarks services through their various channels and this union brings some added stability to the intermediary space. This can only be considered great news for consumer outcome going forward.

  2. @Brian

    Echo your sentiments and I posted on CW also, as a Chartered Financial Planner who uses the services of the group I was delighted to receive a communication from Ian Cooke this morning just before this was announced. Benchmark is a group that has always put the interest of the end consumer first and this simply means that our clients benefit from the extra stability that Schroders will bring to the group in the future. In addition, independent advice still means a lot to myself, my colleagues and our clients and without doubt this will continue.

  3. I think that this is wonderful news. I am a Chartered Financial Planner and Best Practice has helped me so much in developing my business over these past few years. I am proud to be associated with Best Practice and this announcement adds further strength and stability whilst continuing to provide the highest levels of independent advice. This is fantastic news for my client base going forward to have such a prestigious and highly regarded associated company.

  4. Hmm same comments here as on NMA by the same people, anyone would think it was a put up job!

    Whenever a provider gets involved with an advice business there should be concerns no matter what.

  5. Hi Darren

    As I said I posted on CW also. No put up job I’m afraid its just am registerd on these two. I have to say that our advisers see this as enormously positive. Quite genuinely if you want to call me about it I would be more than happy – 01403 331400.

    Kind regards

    Lee

  6. Hi Darren, I certainly have not posted my comments elsewhere, only here on Money Marketing and completely of my own accord. I think this is genuinely superb news and will further enhance my client proposition. I have absolutely no doubt that I will be in a position to continue to provide highly quality independent advice.

  7. I’m a user of the services offered by Best Practice and feel very positive about the news today.

    When a business is successful, well run, with highly talented staff and is profitable it will always attract attention from larger firms – not always with the right intentions. It is far better that it is a firm with history and pedigree like Schroders that become involved rather than a venture capital company or (god forbid) a life office.

    I believe Ian Cooke to be very proud of what he and the rest of his team have created over a number of years and I do not believe that they would have sold if the fit wasn’t ideal and for the overall long term benefit of all.

    This will be, again in my opinion, very different from other poorly conceived and clumsily executed trade sales that we have seen over the last 10 years or so.

    Onwards and upwards!

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