Zurich’s retail platform, which is reportedly up for sale for more than £50m, will be one for the “blue chip” market participants, according to Embark’s chief executive.
The Swiss insurance firm has not commented directly on the speculation but insisted it remains “fully committed” to supporting financial advisers and their clients.
Industry sources have suggested Embark could be a potential buyer for the platform, but the company’s chief executive says it is likely to be one for the larger companies instead.
Embark chief executive Phil Smith tells Money Marketing: “The earlier sale of Zurich’s workplace business to Scottish Widows was always going to raise speculation about its IFA platform’s future.
“If the platform is being marketed, there will be strong interest as it is a solid, profitable platform already at scale, but will be one for the blue-chip participants, rather than the more nimble entrepreneurial players in the sector.”
Zurich is thought to be working with HSBC to find a buyer for Zurich Intermediary, with Aegon also cited as a possible candidate to take it on, according to some reports.
A Zurich spokesperson said: “We regularly work with third parties to review the makeup of our business to ensure it fits with our strategy, and that individual parts are best structured to serve their respective customers and our distribution partners.
“We do not comment on the specifics of these reviews or speculation around them. We remain fully committed to supporting financial advisers and their clients.”
Aegon, which acquired the Cofunds platform in 2016, also refused to comment on “market speculation”.