STM Group acquires troubled SIPP provider; seeks to break into AE market

STM Group has acquired Carey Administration Holdings Limited (CAHL), majority owner of Carey Corporate Pensions UK, for £400,000.

According to a market update published today, 9 October, STM are planning on entering the UK auto-enrolment market via CAHL’s business, Carey Corporate Pensions UK, one of the top 20 in the UK with over 65,000 members.

CAHL currently owns 80 per cent of the business, with the remaining 20 per cent owned by the current CEO, Christine Hallett.

Self-invested personal pensions (SIPP) provider Carey Pensions, 70 per cent of which is currently owned by CAHL, is currently embroiled in a court case after being accused of using an unregulated introducer to facilitate SIPP investments.

In its update, STM noted that it “considers any residual exposure to this and any other historic issue, to be minimal”.

STM CEO, Alan Kentish, said: “The Carey auto-enrolment business is particularly interesting, given the changes that are occurring within the sector that will almost certainly lead to consolidation amongst the providers.

“The cost of entry is prohibitive to new entrants from a standing start given that all staging dates have now passed; so that leaves only a limited number of providers in an ever-expanding market.”

STM said that the businesses will be rebranded within six months of completion.

Hallett said: “We are well known in the industry and we have a unique proposition covering both personal and workplace pension solutions, which is an important differentiator compared to many of our competitors. Our extremely professional and experienced team will combine with STM's team to provide a strong platform for growth."

The deal is subject to Financial Conduct Authority and notification from The Pensions Regulator.

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