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Financial Services Newsletter - Friday 1st October 2021

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Financial Services News

Columbia Threadneedlehas been appointed to run a £1.7bn global investment credit mandate bySt James’s Place (SJP).The fund will be managed by Head of Investment Grade Credit Alasdair Ross and Senior Portfolio Manager Ryan Staszewski.

Parmenionhas overhauled its charging structure, with a new fee introduced for its passive range and charges cut for its active portfolios. The discretionary Fund Manager (DFM) and platform has reduced the DFM fees for its active portfolios from 30 basis points plus VAT to 24bps with no VAT. At the same time, it has brought in a new annual 12bps annual DFM fee for its passive option – previously there was no charge for these portfolios, which have been running since 2007.

Leigh Dayis takingLink Fund Solutionsto court to claim losses suffered by Investors in the collapsed Woodford Equity Income fund (WEIF). The law firm has officially started court proceedings against Link, the authorised Corporate Director of the WEIF, after issuing a claim form on behalf of an initial group of 100 Woodford Investors.

Strength inInvestec’sUK Wealth & Investment division has played a key role in the firm’s big profit spike forecast for the first half. In a trading update covering the five months to the end of August, the South African-based giant said Assets Under Management (AUM) in its UK wealth arm rose by 9% to £45.4bn. Net inflows stood at £0.6bn. This was complemented by a 9.5% increase in AUM in the South African division, lifting total wealth assets across the business to £63.8bn at the end of August.

Wealth management giantQuilterhas announced 400 candidates have graduated from its Financial Adviser School. The figure includes 165 students who have qualified across the board as Advisers with a Diploma in Financial Advice (DipFA) and a Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practise (CeMAP), as well as 49 graduates who have achieved Chartered status.

Specialist financial advice groupFrenkel Topping (FEN)has posted an 80% increase in gross profits, as assets continue to flow into its discretionary mandate and acquisitions feed through to its bottom line. In half year results for the six month period ending 30 June, the business announced revenues were up 93% to £8.5m. Gross profits in the period increased by 80% to £4.5m from the £2.5m posted at the same point last year.

Tributes have been paid to Adviser Alan Steel, who has died following a battle with Covid-19. A self-confessed ‘natural contrarian’, Steel founded Edinburgh-based advice firmAlan Steel Asset Managementin 1975 and oversaw its progress into one of Scotland’s leading advice businesses. He was a highly regarded Financial Planner whose candid views on everything from planning to fees earned him the respect of colleagues and peers across financial services.

TheFCAis to reduce the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) levy by 10% each year from 2025 until 2030. It will start a review into the compensation framework after total Pensions and Investment claims on the lifeboat scheme hit £453m this year. 

Mergers & Acquisitions

Mattioli Woodshas completed the acquisition ofLudlow Wealth Management, subject to regulatory approval, after extending the long stop date of the share price agreement by a month on 1 September.

Sanlam UKhas sold its Life and Pensions business to life insurance consolidatorChesnarain a deal worth £39m. In a statement to the markets this morning, Chesnara said it had purchased Sanlam Life & Pensions UK (SLP), adding £2.9bn of assets under administration and around 80,000 policies to its books.

In further news...Sanlam’s UKWealth business has been sold to funds run by Private Equity HouseOaktree Capital Management. The £140m deal will see Sanlam Wealth spun off from its South African parent and become an independent Wealth Manager, which is targeting faster growth.

Tattonhas bought £650m multi-asset fund businessVerbatimfrom Fintel in a deal worth up to £5.8m. The two companies have also agreed a strategic partnership as part of the deal, which will see Fintel’s Defaqto Engage research software provided to Tatton users and members of Paradigm, Tatton’s support service company. 

National advice and wealth management firmTrue Potentialhas put an end to years of speculation over its future with a deal to offload a majority stake to Private Equity firm Cinven. True Potential issued a statement confirming it had completed an agreement to sell to Cinven, though neither company would specify how much money would change hands.

Movers & Shakers

Digital IFAFintuityhas appointed a COO and expanded its Chartered IFA team by 60% in the wake of the launch of its Financial Virtual Adviser. The company has appointedTony Beavonas its Chief Operating Officer and added AdvisersLuke BrookeandIan Watson, who is also a Chartered Accountant, andRuth Arnettto its team.

Investec Wealth & Investmenthas hiredNeil Turnerto its Liverpool office as an Investment Director. Turner joins the firm from Blankstone Sington, where he was Chief Executive and managed discretionary and advisory services.

James Hambro & Partners (JH&P)has recruited 7IM Financial Planning HeadGeorge Martineaufor its new Edinburgh office. Martineau will be based in the firm’s new Fountainbridge office in Edinburgh from the beginning of October.

Fund management veteranMark Hallis due to retire fromFranklin Templetonand leave the industry putting an end to a career of more than 30 years. Hall has worked at the Asset Manager for 11 years and co-managed its UK Equity Income, UK Opportunities and UK Rising Dividends funds alongside Head of UK Equities Colin Morton.

Mattioli Woodsis on the hunt for a new Chair asJoanna Lakeprepares to step down, after nine years at the firm and five in the role. The firm said it has started a selection process that will be ‘part of a managed transition’.

A string of Senior Executives and staff members atNoviahave left the platform or been made redundant since its takeover by Private Equity firm AnaCap. The platform has also poached two Senior Executives from rival platform Nucleus this week in a major shake-up of personnel.

Digital advice firmOpenMoneyhas appointedSymeon Breenas its new Chief Technical Officer (CTO). Breen will spearhead OpenMoney’s ambition to bring financial advice to more consumers through a new expansion drive. He will join the business on 1 October and will work between his home and the firm’s Manchester offices.

AssetCohas appointed former Abrdn Global Head of DistributionCampbell Flemingas Chief Executive. He replaces interim appointee Peter McKellar. Fleming, who currently chairs The Big Exchange and has a number of non-executive roles, left Standard Life Aberdeen (now Abrdn) last September after more than four years in his role.

Quilterhas appointed former Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) – now Abrdn – platform bossDavid Tilleras its new Commercial and Propositions Director. Tiller joins Quilter after stepping down from his role as Head of UK Platform Propositions at SLA last December. 

NucleusCEODavid Fergusonwill leave the platform following its takeover by James Hay. Ferguson will step down from the board with immediate effect. His responsibilities will be taken on by James Hay Group CEO Richard Rowney.

Baillie Gifford’s Head of UK Equities and Manager of its £1.1bn UK Equity Alpha fundGerard Callahanis to retire at the end of next April, drawing a 31-year tenure at the company to a close.

Goldman Sachs veteranHuw Pillhas been appointed Chief Economist of theBank of England, and will take predecessor Andy Haldane’s place on its rate setting committee. 

All information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from multiple Financial Services Media sources and individual company press releases.