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CMS advises Phoenix Group on its ongoing partnership with Standard Life Aberdeen

3 March 2021

International law firm CMS has advised Phoenix Group on a new arrangement with Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA), which significantly simplifies their strategic partnership, enabling Phoenix to control its own distribution, marketing and brands, and focusing the strategic partnership on using SLA's asset management services in support of Phoenix's growth strategy. 

As a result, Phoenix will sell its Wrap Self Invested Personal Pension, Onshore Bond and UK Trustee Investment Plan to SLA, and acquire ownership of the “Standard Life” brand. The combined client service and proposition agreement entered into in 2018 in connection with the acquisition of SLA’s life insurance business will be dissolved. At the same time, Phoenix is reinforcing its strategic partnership with SLA by re-committing to a 10-year strategic asset management partnership, with Phoenix harnessing SLA’s expertise across a breadth of portfolio management and investment strategy areas.

Owen Ross comments: “This transaction further validates our ongoing investment in deep financial services expertise. We are delighted to have been able to assist Phoenix.”

The CMS team was led by Owen Ross (who specialises in complex financial services transactions), with Angela Greenough, Tom Callaby and Alistair Hill (advising on the Wrap Self Invested Personal Pension and other regulatory aspects), Sam Dames (advising on tax), Thom Lockley and Karagh Gilliatt (advising on the reorganisation of funds structures, underlying assets and capital), Laura Lobb (advising on employment), Kushal Gandhi (disputes), alongside Michelle Bannon, Laura Clarke and Dillon Siebert.