Standard Life (SL.) has agreed to buy wrap platform Elevate from Axa UK, adding £9.8bn of assets under administration and around 160,000 customers. The purchase price has not yet been disclosed, but will be funded via Standard Life's existing cash resources. On completion, the Edinburgh-based life assurer's adviser platform business will have £36.4bn in assets under administration, 350,000 customers and net asset inflows of £5.7bn in 2015.
Standard Life has been pushing away from traditional life assurance business and towards fee-based models such as asset management and investment platforms. Its asset management arm, Standard Life Investments, has so far offset a decline in the annuities business, growing its operating profit last year by a third. Meanwhile, its wrap platform has also been going from strength to strength, increasing assets under administration by more than a fifth to £25.5bn last year. Management said the integration of the two common wrap platform systems will unlock value for shareholders.