Mazars acquisition takes it over £1bn AUM milestone

Deal done
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Mazars, the international professional services firm with offices in Manchester and Liverpool, is to acquire financial planning business RCL Consultancy from The Embark Group.

The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum and subject to FCA approval, will result in the transfer of a portfolio of high net worth and affluent clients with assets of approximately £300m.

Mazars says the acquisition of RCL by Mazars Financial Planning (MFP) will strengthen the offering to its private clients.

MFP provides impartial, tailored financial planning advice and wealth management to individuals, business owner-managers and trustees (private and charitable).

It has a range of financial planning services from financial health checks to advice about investments, pensions, tax planning and employee benefits, as well as managing client funds on a discretionary basis.

MFP currently has £770m of assets under management and the deal will take it over the £1bn milestone.

At the same time, Mazars has announced it is to enter into a joint venture partnership with renowned retirement solutions provider The Embark Group by combining their current activities in the UK Employee Benefits Consulting (‘EBC’) sector into a single business.

As a result, Mazars Employee Benefits Ltd will be renamed Vested Employee Benefits Ltd (trading as Vested). Vested will act as a consolidation vehicle for the clients of each business.

Vested offers a full suite of services, tailored to individual client needs. Vested looks beyond traditional flexible benefits and auto-enrolment; our services span workplace savings, flexible benefits, financial wellness and employee engagement.

The target market will be small and medium sized UK corporates, with 100 to 750 employees, which it feels are poorly serviced by the traditional players.

The newly-combined business will be owned 51% by Embark and 49% by Mazars and will be consolidated into The Embark Group. The joint venture will be led by Lorraine Olley and Phil Smith of Mazars and Embark, respectively.

Phil Verity, senior partner at Mazars UK, said: “The combination of these transactions continues our rapid growth in the UK Financial Planning market, a core sector for Mazars in the UK and through Vested we will retain our engagement in the EBC market in a collaboration that greatly increases our chance of material success. Embark and Mazars are a natural fit. We both have a strong focus on our clients, our people, and on delivering innovative, high value solutions to the market.”

Phil Smith, group chief executive of Embark, said: “It is tremendous to be taking the covers off the growing partnership we have nurtured with Mazars over the course of 2017.”

Both transactions remain subject to regulatory approval prior to formal closure.

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