Aviva plc (“Aviva”) has announced this morning the acquisition of Succession Wealth for a consideration of £385 million. The transaction significantly enhances Aviva’s presence in the fast-growing UK wealth market as more people seek advice for their retirement and savings options. The UK wealth market was worth an estimated £1.6 trillion in 2020 and is expected to grow by circa 7% per annum to £2.1 trillion by 2024. In addition, by 2039 it is expected that one in four people in the UK will be over 65, increasing the demand for financial advice.
Amanda Blanc, Group Chief Executive Officer of Aviva, said:
“The acquisition of Succession Wealth boosts Aviva’s presence in the fast-growing UK wealth market; supports our strategy to grow sustainably; and expands Aviva’s ability to offer high quality financial advice to millions of our customers.”
Through Succession Wealth, Aviva will have the capability to offer high-quality advice to its approximately 4 million workplace pension customers, where Aviva is the UK’s largest provider with £96 billion of AuM, as well as approximately 2 million individual pensions & savings customers with £139 billion of AuM4 focusing on customers who do not currently have an adviser. Today’s statement from Aviva says that addition of an advice offering will allow the group to better support its customers as they go through critical life decisions, helping to retain more of the c.£6 billion of pension and heritage assets that leave to be invested with competitors each year. Combined with Aviva’s existing market leading investment management capabilities and strategically core adviser platform, Aviva says that it will have a complete set of solutions to support the planners of Succession Wealth in serving their existing clients.
Succession Wealth is a leading national independent financial advice firm with approximately 200 planners5 advising on £9.5 billion of assets, delivering high-quality advice to around 19,000 clients5 throughout the UK. The business has a proven track-record of consolidating advice firms and delivering improved client outcomes and better support for planners through its 60 acquisitions to date. Succession Wealth has a highly experienced and credible management team under the leadership of CEO James Stevenson that will continue to run the business, with the ability to accelerate growth through participating in further consolidation and from the support and substantial benefits of being part of Aviva. Succession Wealth will continue to operate as a separately regulated, independent, financial advice firm and will continue to use the Succession Wealth brand. On a pro forma basis, including the benefit of the four announced acquisitions, the estimated 2022 EBITDA for Succession Wealth is expected to be around £24 million.
The transaction, which is being funded by cash from Aviva’s strong capital position, is expected to deliver a double digit return on invested capital in the medium term (including all integration and restructuring costs). The estimated impact on the Group’s Solvency II shareholder cover ratio would have been a reduction of circa 5 percentage points as at 31 December 20217. The transaction is subject to FCA approval and is expected to complete in the second half of 2022.
Doug Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Aviva UK and Ireland Life, said:
“We are excited to partner with the management team at Succession Wealth. They have built a great business over the years, and I am confident that Aviva’s scale, resources, capabilities and shared vision will enable Succession Wealth to further expand its leading client and planner proposition in the UK’s attractive wealth market. This acquisition will broaden our advice offering and will help our existing customers currently without an adviser to better secure their financial future.”
James Stevenson, Group CEO of Succession Wealth, said:
“We are delighted to become part of Aviva and to offer our independent financial planning capability to Aviva customers who don’t have an adviser. The demand for financial advice across the entire wealth spectrum has never been greater, and the opportunity to combine Succession Wealth’s holistic financial planning expertise, with the capabilities and customer reach of Aviva is hugely exciting. The Succession Wealth brand and our core independent advice proposition is fundamental in providing ongoing stability and reassurance to our existing clients and our people as we embark on this new journey as part of Aviva.”