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Sipp Spotlight: A closer look at Barnett Waddingham

This week we look at the Barnett Waddingham Sipp, which provides access to commercial property and platform links.

Business information

Number of Sipps 2,318

Total Sipp assets £926 million

Average size of individual Sipp across the group £400,000

Profit for latest financial year for which figures are available £421,448

Turnover for latest financial year for which figures are available £2.4 million

Capital held in excess of the regulatory requirement Thirteen weeks’ expenditure, equivalent to £300 per Sipp

Who are the owners of the business?

Barnett Waddingham is an independent partnership, wholly owned and managed by its partners in the UK.

Available investments

How many funds can Sipp investors choose from?

Unlimited: open architecture

• Commercial property

• Property partnerships

• Intellectual property

• Unregulated collective investment schemes

• Shares

• Investment trusts

• Gilts

• Commercial bonds

• Exchange traded funds

We have a limited number of esoteric investments, mainly due to the stringent requirements of our investment committee. We hold five overseas properties in our Sipps.


• Initial charge £350

• Annual charge £565

• Contributions and cash transfers £0

• Property purchase A time-based charge from £670

• Property administration A time-based charge from £155

• Drawdown payments £18.25 per month

Other features

Group Sipp Yes

Scheme pension No

Flexible drawdown, capped drawdown, phased drawdown? Yes

Phased retirement Yes

Platform links

AXA Elevate and Ascentric. Advisers may also choose non-panel platforms.

Adviser view

Beverley Lavin

Partner, Hazlewoods Financial Planning

As part of an accountancy firm, we have a reasonably large number of clients whose pension the Barnett Waddingham (BW) Sipp is suitable for. We use the BW Sipp for clients who want to purchase commercial property.

But for clients who just want an investment portfolio, we would use a platform Sipp, such as the AXA Elevate Sipp, instead. We also use other platforms, but AXA has a suitable Sipp vehicle for no extra cost.

There would be no justification for putting [investments] through BW when all those clients need is asset-allocated collectives. However, I have floated the idea of a low-cost Sipp with BW.

Many of the accountancy clients are veterinarians, doctors or lawyers, who run professional practices and want to buy their business premises with their Sipps.

BW offers good service and is local to us. We can be confident that if it lets us do something, we need not worry whether HM Revenue & Customs will later decide something should not be in the Sipp and charge tax on it.

Not all properties we put in the Sipp are standard commercial units: some are more unusual. For example, we had a client with a barn who wanted to keep horses downstairs and convert the upper level into an office.

We have used other Sipp providers for property, but they tend to be a bit careless, writing to clients and leaving us out of the loop.