Standard Life has completed a deal to acquire Axa Elevate for an undisclosed sum.
The deal will almost double Standard Life’s customer base, bringing over 160,000 to the business, and raising total customers to 350,000.
The combined business will also hold assets under administration of £36.4bn, 350,000 customers and net asset inflows of £5.7bn in 2015.
According to Platforum, a combined platform will have assets totalling £37bn, putting it behind only FundsNetwork at £62bn and Cofunds at £77bn.
The deal will also maintain Elevate’s discounted pricing for Axa’s Architas fund range, which will be added to the Standard Life platform.
Standard Life head of adviser and wealth manager propositions David Tiller says: “This acquisition is a clear sign of our continued commitment to lead the UK adviser platform market. It demonstrates to advisers that, as the market consolidates, supporting their businesses and meeting the evolving needs of their clients is central to the long-term strategy of Standard Life.
“Identifying the right platform is the key to success when bringing two propositions together – Elevate was an obvious choice for us. This acquisition combines the ‘best of the best’ adviser platforms and will bring clear benefits to existing Standard Life Wrap and Elevate advisers alike.”
As well as expanding the coverage of Standard Life’s platform, the deal will mean that Elevate advisers and their clients will gain access to Standard Life’s investment hub, Sipp and drawdown capability, as well as investment solutions from Standard Life Investments and Standard Life Wealth.
Axa UK chief executive Paul Evans says the deal reflects the firm’s decision to exits the UK’s life and savings market.
He says: “After detailed consideration, we have come to the conclusion that these businesses could be even more successful if supported by organisations with a stronger strategic focus on the life and savings segment.
“These transactions would allow Axa to rebalance the focus of its UK activities towards property and casualty, health and asset management. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the teams for their valuable contribution to building strong, innovative and market leading businesses over the past years.”