Sanlam sells UK wealth arm for £140m


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

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

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

Following the transaction, the wealth arm will continue to operate under the Sanlam Wealth brand and the new owner’s intention is to turn Sanlam Wealth into “an independent and agile wealth management business”.

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

Jonathan Polin, the Sanlam UK’s chief executive, will continue to lead the new business alongside “key members” of its management team, with a full leadership team for the refocussed business to be announced “at an appropriate point”, according to Sanlam.

Polin took over as interim head of Sanlam Wealth in July following the departure of John White.

He said: “The sale of Sanlam Wealth to Oaktree ensures the business remains both operationally strong and financially stable in the long-term, while allowing us to drive forward as a faster and more agile independent wealth manager.

“This will be a new firm with a new purpose and a new way of working, with a refreshed commitment to delivering the very best products and services for our clients. 

“We will have greater autonomy to flex to the needs of our people, and I look forward to working with Oaktree to assess and implement the opportunities available to us as we all look to share in the business’s future successes.”

Federico Alvarez-Demalde, Oaktree’s managing director, called Sanlam Wealth “a strong platform for growth in the fragmented wealth management market”.

He continued: “Our investment will be targeted at providing excellent products and services for clients, development opportunities for staff and supporting management in the delivery of its innovative acquisition strategy.”

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

The price represented a discount of 19 per cent on the estimated value of the business of £48m.

The deals come after Sanlam confirmed last month (August 26) that it would wind down its adviser network, saying it no longer fit with its business model.

The wind down followed a flurry of departures from its adviser business, after it hit them with a change to its fee model which saw all appointed representatives charged a minimum of £20,000 regardless of their size.

Some 30 appointed representatives handed in their notice and 10 had left the network by July last year, but Sanlam has pointed out that fees were not necessarily the cause in all of these cases.

For advisers relying on Sanlam to operate as appointed representatives, the wind down means they will have to move to another network or become directly authorised with the Financial Conduct Authority.

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