Franklin Templeton to acquire Embark Group stake
Franklin Templeton is to acquire a material stake in the Embark Group, joining existing long-term institutional investors BlackRock, Legg Mason and FNZ, as well as the Merian Chrysalis fund.
In making this investment, which is subject to regulatory approval, Franklin Templeton will become one of Embark’s largest cornerstone investors and is doing so in support of Embark’s recent acquisition strategy.
This is the first external investment Franklin Templeton has made into the UK’s rapidly evolving retirement and wealth sector. It is also representative of its global strategy to identify, invest in and grow companies in this sector that are disrupting traditional business models by harnessing technological innovation.
Franklin Templeton will not hold a seat on Embark’s independent Board of Directors.
Martyn Gilbey, UK Country Head of Franklin Templeton, says: “The UK long-term savings market is undergoing significant disruption, driven by regulatory and demographic changes, technology innovation and market consolidation. As a result, the traditional barriers between manufacturing and distribution, and in particular the demarcation between pensions and wealth products are being eroded with significant opportunities for asset managers to participate and secure long-term value in new operating models.
This investment represents the first foray for Franklin Templeton’s UK business into the retirement and wealth space which is in line with our firm-wide objective of exploring acquisition-related growth opportunities in the fintech arena. Our efforts have been focused on opportunities with the potential to grow real scale, to diversify our business interests, and to offer the opportunity for innovation at both a consumer and distribution level. We have worked with Embark for some time as a research house and know well their ability to innovate and deliver asset growth.”
David Etherington, Embark Group Chairman, says: “That our business is able to broaden our institutional shareholder base and attract another world leading global investor such as Franklin Templeton is testament to the strength of Embark’s proposition and strategy. I am delighted to welcome Franklin Templeton as a new cornerstone investor into the Group and would also like to thank all our existing shareholders for their support with the recent acquisitions of Zurich Wealth and Investments and ATS intermediary businesses. We have now very firmly established Embark as a significant player in the UK retirement and savings market. “