It controls £38 billion of assets, has over 400,000 customers and is looking to create more jobs in Dundee.
Embark Group’s presence in Dundee began with its acquisition of Alliance Trust Savings in late 2019.
It provides a leading-edge technology platform for corporates and financial advisers and has 120 staff in Dundee.
The former Alliance Trust building in West Marketgait has since become the headquarters for both Embark platform and the group.
Chief executive Peter Docherty said more than 100-plus people from Dundee joined Embark following the ATS deal.
He added: “We gained a highly-skilled, specialist team who could really deliver for our customers.
“We provide a full range of retirement services for independent financial advisers and corporates, such as investment platforms and self-invested personal pensions, with cutting-edge technology at the heart of what we do.
“Being a relatively new player has meant that our technology is at the forefront of the industry.
“We provide really smart solutions for household names like NatWest, Nutmeg and Charles Stanley.”
Rapid growth of fintech firm
Founded in 2013, Embark’s growth has been rapid. It has seven other offices across the UK, at locations including London and Edinburgh and more than 400 employees.
Last May it acquired the Zurich platform for independent financial advisers – rapidly propelling it to be one of the biggest players in UK retirement services.
Scotland and Dundee are now a major part of the Embark story.
Mr Docherty said the country is increasingly being thought of as a European fintech hub and is home to more than 150 high-tech firms – a number that Embark wants to see increase.
Fintech venture studio plans
He added: “We’re currently in the process of working with our partners, FNZ and Anthemis, to create a dedicated fintech venture studio here in Dundee, with the support of and collaboration with the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and FinTech Scotland.
“One of our major aims is supporting and helping grow a diverse group of talented entrepreneurs in Dundee.
“We are really excited about the potential of this – it’s a way of creating a mutually-beneficial community here, and we’re excited to launch it as soon as we can.”
Investing in Dundee
Beyond this, the impact of Embark on Dundee is easy to see out on the streets, with 400 electrically-powered bicycles carrying its logo.
Last September, the group announced it was sponsoring a new scheme which sees the bikes available for public hire across the city.
The project called Embark Dundee powered by Ride On, is developed and run by Ride On, an international urban mobility company, in partnership with Dundee City Council.
Mr Docherty explained the reason for the sponsorship.
“It was an opportunity to support the local infrastructure of Dundee, and to demonstrate our long-term commitment to the area,” he said.
“What started as the acquisition of ATS has continued to grow and develop, and we are currently recruiting for a number of roles within our Dundee office.”
Dundee at heart of innovation
The Covid-19 pandemic has had no significant impact on Embark operations, as it has full capabilities in place so staff can work remotely.
Mr Docherty said that the virus has led to a heightened focus on delivering on Embark’s core strengths, as well as expanding its horizons.
“We’ve made sure to focus on what really matters during this time.
“We’ve worked hard on the quality and resilience of our services, but more importantly we’ve supported colleagues, old and new, with a massive focus on wellbeing.”
Asked about what he misses most about life before lockdown, his answer was simple: “Seeing the team face-to-face. We’ve got a great group of colleagues here in Dundee, and I can’t wait to be back in the office with them when the time comes.”
Mr Docherty said that Embark plans to go from strength to strength in the next five years, continuing to stay at the forefront of the industry through technological innovation and continuing to build a great team – with Dundee at the heart.