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Financial Services Newsletter - Friday 3rd September 2021

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Financial Services News Schroders Personal Wealth (SPW) has opened an office in Leeds as it continues its regional expansion across the UK. The new office will be headed by Regional Director Chris Lomas, and will serve clients across Yorkshire and North East England. Mark Duckworth, Chief Executive of Schroders Personal Wealth said it will ‘ensure that our clients can benefit from a more personal and local experience, allowing them to develop strong relationships with our Advisers and support teams within the region’. Tilney Smith & Williamson is preparing a move to new headquarters in 2022 as the combined group reported soaring profits and revenue for the first half of the year. Chief Executive Chris Woodhouse said the integration was going well and that the group was making ‘good progress’ in locations where there was duplication. Sanlam UK has confirmed it will wind down its Adviser network – Sanlam Partnerships Limited. It said the increased scale and systems capacity required to grow a financial adviser network “no longer fits” with its business model. In further news...True Potential and Tenet have both denied they have agreements with Sanlam to take on some of its member Advisers, despite reports indicating they have. True Potential said it “does not recruit en masse from other firms” but indicated it has taken on 200 Advisers this year. St James’s Place Wealth Management (SJP) has been told to compensate two clients for advice to put £600,000 in overseas bonds. The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) ruling concerns advice over a period of five years from 2005 to 2010. Mr R and Mrs R saw an Appointed Representative (Partner) of SJP in 2005 who recommended that Mr R invest £100,000 in an international investment bond (IIB) – an offshore bond. 1825 has been renamed to Abrdn Financial Planning Limited according to Companies House. An update from 27 August shows a certificate to change the company’s name has been issued and will be available in 10 days. The name change could mark a watershed for the firm that has been through turbulent period over the past 18 months. Adviser platform Transact has achieved just over £50bn in assets, as the firm marked its “highest ever” third quarter gross flows. For the three months to 30 June 2021, Advisers placed almost £2bn with Transact, helping Funds Under Direction (FUD) surpass the £50bn barrier. Investment platform AJ Bell has increased its total Assets Under Administration to £70.4bn, which the firm said is up 30% over the past year. In the three months ended 30 June 2021, the firm saw net inflows of £1.8bn. Overall customer numbers have also grown to 368,000, with total platform customers increasing by 21,023 in the quarter. Aegon has announced multi-million investment plans for its UK business to capitalise on growing investment platform and workplace markets. In December the Aegon Group unveiled its global strategy for the multi-national financial services business. This looks after nearly €900bn (c. £770bn) of savings on behalf of around 30 million customers worldwide. Mergers & Acquisitions M&G will use its acquisition of Sandringham to boost its independent advice offering, while platform operations at the national IFA will be ‘business as usual’, the Asset Manager has said. M&G announced it had bought Sandringham, along with its 185 Partner Advisers and £2.5bn of assets, for an undisclosed amount. Mattioli Woods has announced the acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Richings Financial Management for an initial consideration of £0.9m and a potential further consideration of up to £0.9m if the firm attains specified performance targets in the two years after completion. Tavistock has completed the sale of Tavistock Wealth Limited (TWL) to Titan Wealth Holdings Limited (Titan Wealth). The company announced on 14 June 2021 that it had entered a 10-year strategic partnership with Titan Wealth. As a part of these arrangements Titan Wealth has acquired TWL for a consideration of up to £40m in cash, together with a ten-year earn out. The Saltus Group has bought Fish Financial, as part of its long-term growth strategy. Saltus employs more than 90 people and manages around £2bn in assets. It was established as an investment management business in 2004 and launched Saltus Financial Planning in 2015. Farnham-based Fish Financial was established in 2007 by Ian Colley to provide financial planning and wealth management advice to high-net-worth individuals and Business Owners. Ascot Lloyd has completed the acquisition of Aberdeen-based Central Investment Services adding £761m in funds to the wider group. Central Investment is an independent financial advice firm providing services to both private and corporate clients. The deal brings eight IFAs, a team of support staff and builds on the 12 acquisitions over the past year. The Financial Conduct Authority has approved the acquisition of Nucleus by James Hay in one of the biggest deals for several years. The development paves the way to create a £47bn Adviser platform monster and ends a long period of speculation. A statement said the deal offers a blend of online technology and offline service that can compete with anyone in the advised platform market. Embark Group has confirmed it has been acquired by Lloyds Banking Group, following rumours of a deal in May this year. The transaction, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be worth around £390m. It will enable Scottish Widows to “enhance” its long-term savings proposition for Advisers. Praemium is on the hunt for a buyer for its international business, which includes its UK platform and customer management systems Plum and Wealthcraft. The Australian firm carried out a strategic review and has confirmed it is seeking a buyer for its operations in the UK, Jersey, Dubai and Hong Kong. The company intends to focus its attention on its home market, it told the Australian Securities Exchange. Quilter has set aside an extra £7m to cover unsuitable advice given by firms it has acquired. The figures are contained in half-year results to June published that shed light on how Quilter is handling Defined Benefit (DB) transfer claims. DB transfers came back into the spotlight this week as an Independent Financial Adviser who advised on £74m worth of DB transfers out of the British Steel Pension Scheme has been struck off. Movers & Shakers Seven Investment Management has promoted several senior staff members to partnership level, including two of its portfolio management team. The members now sharing in company profits include: Uwe Ketelsen, Head of Portfolio Management; Tony Lawrence, Senior Investment Manager; Henry Chan, Head of Communications and Content; Rehana Yasin, Senior HR Business Partner; Richard Farrow, Chief Financial Officer; Sam Cole, Senior Platform Relationship Manager; Harriet Massie, Head of Business Solutions; Sarah Trowell, Senior People and Culture Partner and Hayley Stubbs, Senior Platform Relationship Manager. Investec Wealth & Investment has appointed Stacey Parrinder-Johnson as Chief Investment Officer to lead a newly created investment and research office. Parrinder-Johnson joined Investec in 2005, initially as a member of the Leeds discretionary desk, and moved to the research team in 2013. She has covered a range of investment areas, most recently introducing more thematic and private equity names to portfolios. Vermeer Partners has appointed former JM Finn Chair James Edgedale as Co-Chair of the company alongside current Chair and Co-Founder Michael Kerr-Dineen. Boris Collardi, one of seven current Managing Partners at Pictet, is leaving the firm on 1 September 2021, the group has announced. Collardi joined the firm in November 2017 from rival Swiss investment company Julius Baer, where he was CEO at the time. Portfolio Manager Elif Aktuğ and François Pictet will become new members of the board of Partners following Collardi’s departure. This brings the overall number of Managing Partners to eight and will mean Aktuğ stepping back from her €2.5bn market-neutral strategy. Insurance broker Howden has appointed Mark Ramsook as its new Director of Global Employee Benefits Development for Europe and Latin America. Ramsook joins Howden from Willis Towers Watson where he was a Senior Director and Sales Leader for UK and Western Europe. He has previously held senior roles at Barclays Wealth & Investment Management and Mercer Consulting. 1825 will lose Neil Messenger – Managing Director of its wealth advisory business – in September, when he retires. Messenger joined 1825 when it acquired Grant Thornton’s financial planning arm last June for £30m in June 2019. Gary Dale has left AJ Bell as Sales Director as part of a “minor restructure” of the sales department. A spokesperson for the company said: “We are making some minor changes to the way our sales team is organised and as part of that process it was agreed by mutual consent that Gary Dale would leave AJ Bell.” AJ Bell confirmed there will be “no direct replacement” for Dale. Platform technology provider Bravura Solutions’ Chief Executive Tony Klim is stepping down after 10 years at the helm. He will be replaced by Nick Parsons, who joined the firm in 2007 as Chief Technology Officer. Parsons moved up to Business Development Director, before he was appointed Global Chief Operating Officer last year. Multrees Investor Services is continuing its expansion of its executive team with the appointment of Glenn Murphy as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Murphy will report to the “bespoke platform’s” Chief Executive Chris Fisher and will focus on delivering strategic operating and technology solutions for clients. The Association of Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT) has appointed Maggie Rodger as Co-Chair following the departure of David Weeks. Weeks resigned from his post as Co-Chair of AMNT last month due to ill health. He led the Pension schemes group for five years alongside Janice Turner. LEBC has announced its Public Policy Director Kay Ingram will leave the firm to pursue a career as a Personal Finance Writer, Commentator, and Broadcaster. Ingram joined LEBC 18 years ago. She has undertaken a variety of roles – including Head of Private Client Services – and has 41 years’ experience in financial services. Generali-backed boutique Plenisfer Investments has appointed Dhruv Narain as Senior Portfolio Manager of Real Assets and Infrastructure. Narain will be based in Plenisfer’s London office and will report to Mauro Ratto, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Plenisfer, as well as its UK Branch Manager. Saracen Fund Managers has hired SVM Fund Manager Alasdair Birch as an Investment Director on its Global Income and Growth and UK Alpha funds. Birch joins following almost a decade at SVM and having spent more than seven years as Deputy Manager on SVM’s £25.7m Continental Europe strategy. Carmignac has reinforced its fixed income team with the hire of American Century Portfolio Manager Abdelak Adjriou. His appointment follows the departure of Charles Zerah, who decided to dedicate himself to new personal challenges. Cazenove Capital has made three hires for its regional offices as the wealth firm’s UK expansion gathers pace. Craig Jones and Omar Iqbal have joined the firm’s Birmingham office and will work with head David Price servicing clients in the Midlands. Rhys Twomey joins Cazenove’s Bristol branch as Portfolio Director having previously worked at Coutts, looking after entrepreneurs and Business Owners.