Sanlam sells British property line for £ 140 million

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Sanlam has sold its UK wealth management division, Sanlam Wealth, to private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management for £ 140 million.

Oaktree already owns IFA consolidator Ascot Lloyd, but the two businesses will continue to operate independently, according to a press release released today (Sept. 20) by Sanlam.

The private equity firm’s transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022 and is subject to regulatory approval.

After the transaction, the wealth division will continue to operate under the Sanlam Wealth brand and the new owner intends to make Sanlam Wealth “an independent and agile wealth management company”.

But a new brand and identity for the business will be announced in due course.

Jonathan Polin, Chief Executive of Sanlam UK, will continue to lead the new business together with “key members” of the management team, with a full leadership team for the realigned business to be announced “when the time is appropriate,” said Sanlam.

Polin took over the interim management of Sanlam Wealth in July after the departure of John White.

He said: “The sale of Sanlam Wealth to Oaktree ensures that the business will remain operationally strong and financially stable over the long term, while also allowing us to move forward as a faster and more agile independent asset manager.

“This will be a new company with a new purpose and way of working, with a renewed commitment to delivering the best products and services to our customers.

“We will have more autonomy to adapt to the needs of our employees and I look forward to working with Oaktree to evaluate and implement the opportunities presented to us as we all want to share in the company’s future successes.”

Federico Alvarez-Demalde, Managing Director of Oaktree, described Sanlam Wealth as “a strong platform for growth in the fragmented wealth management market”.

He continued: “Our investment will be aimed at providing excellent products and services for customers, providing development opportunities for employees and supporting management in the implementation of its innovative acquisition strategy.”

Earlier this month, Chesnara, a pension and protection consolidator, bought Sanlam’s annuity business for £ 39 million.

The award represented a 19 percent discount on the company’s estimated value of £ 48 million.

The deals come after Sanlam confirmed last month (Aug 26) that it will cut its network of advisors as it no longer fits its business model.

The liquidation followed a spate of consultant exits after faced a change in their fee model, with all appointed agents charging at least £ 20,000 regardless of size.

About 30 appointed agents have filed their resignation and 10 had left the network by July last year, but Sanlam has indicated that fees were not necessarily the cause in all of these cases.

For advisors who rely on Sanlam to act as appointed agent, winding up means moving to another network or being authorized directly by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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