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Financial Services Newsletter - Friday 5th November 2021

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Are you going to ask your employees to return to the office full time if you haven’t already?

We recently surveyed nearly 3000 Paraplanners across our database and LinkedIn, to understand why they enjoyed their role, what they enjoyed least about their role, understanding how important home-based working is and what would be the reason for them to look for work elsewhere.

The results suggests that salary is still the biggest reason why people would look to leave, with home working and traditional benefits not too far behind.

Click here to download your copy of the survey.

Financial Services News

Digital financial advice service Open Money has joined forces with The Co-op Credit Union (CCU)to provide services to its members. As part of the partnership, CCU members will gain access to a range of budgeting tools, as well as Investment and Mortgage advice via the Open Money app.

Quilter has laid out plans to launch a new hybrid advice proposition in 2022. The offering would sit within its national advice business, Quilter Financial Advisers. During its a capital markets day, Quilter Financial Planning Chief Executive Stephen Gazard said the traditional model for an advice firm is face-to-face advice and reviews. But, he said, some clients prefer hybrid approaches. For example, where customers are confident and prefer to manage parts of their portfolio themselves.

In further news...Quilter has set aside £1.7m to cover potential redress after it found 18 cases of potentially unsuitable Defined Benefit (DB) transfer advice given to clients by Prescient prior to the advice giant’s acquisition of the firm in January 2020. Restricted national advice company Quilter Private Client Advisers (QPCA) acquired Prescient for an undisclosed amount. 

National IFA Succession Wealth took £312,000 from the government’s furlough scheme last year, its annual financial statements reveal. A note in the firm’s parent company, Succession Holdings Jersey, show it received £565,000 in other income which ‘predominately consists of grant income received in the year under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’. This £565,000 comprises of £312,000 from furlough money,  £247,000 contractual income outside of the company’s normal trading activities and £7,000 of income outside of the company’s normal trading activities, the group’s individual entity accounts show. 

Dynamic Planner has partnered with capital management firm Garraway to create a model portfolio service for clients in decumulation. Dynamic Planner said the portfolio was built specifically to meet the standard of its Risk-Managed Decumulation (RMD) service, which attempts to ensure a client’s chosen decumulation solution performs as expected through ‘more intensive management’ at a higher cost. The portfolio can be accessed via the RMD service.

NextGen Planners has launched a resources platform targeted at small advice firms. The new virtual platform, ‘Advice Stack’, provides resources including hundreds of compliance, HR and marketing templates and access to more than 20 discounts on various adviser technology services. Firms can also access peer-to-peer support from other small advice businesses through the platform. The platform is embedded into the existing NextGen Planners online platform and private social network and is available to NextGen members at a monthly cost of £99 plus VAT.

Total assets on AJ Bell’s advised platform leapt by 26% to £45.8bn this year. In a trading update for the year to 30 September 2021, the firm said total client assets hit £72.8bn, up 29% from £56.5bn the previous year. Advised clients on the platform increased by 18,009 (17%) to 126,920, contributing £3.8bn of new cash – an increase of 36% on last year. Direct clients added a further £3.2bn.

St James’s Place (SJP)has said it expects gross inflows for 2021 of around 25%, ahead of predictions it made earlier this year. In a third-quarter trading update, the wealth giant reported net inflows of £2.59bn for the three months to the end of September, compared to £1.4bn at the same time last year. This took total assets to £148bn, a 14% jump from January.

The FCA has fined and banned an Adviser for providing ‘reckless and unsuitable’ advice to move £13.5m of clients’ Pensions into Sipps comprising high-risk investments. The regulator has fined Omar Hussein, former Director at Consumer Wealth, £116,000 for advising customers to switch their Pensions when it was not necessary or in their best interests. He has also been banned from working in Financial Services.

Prince Harry and Meghan have become Partners and Investors in US ethical Asset Manager Ethic, in the couple’s latest expanding portfolio of careers. Founded in 2015, the company specialises in directly-indexed ethical strategies and after tripling inflows over the last 12 months now runs $1.3bn (£950m), the Founders said. Speaking to the New York Times, the Duchess of Sussex said: "My husband has been saying for years, “Gosh, don’t you wish there was a place where if your values were aligned like this, you could put your money to that same sort of thing?"

Seven Investment Management (7IM) has been engaged in a legal tussle with a former Partner, its latest annual report revealed. A note in the firm’s accounts for the year ending 31 December 2020, stated the business ‘is involved in litigation with an ex-member’. It added: ‘Due to the possible obligation arising, this claim is being disclosed in these financial statements.’ The identity of the individual is not clear, and the firm declined to comment on the matter. 

Brewin Dolphin has abandoned its £10m plan to move its headquarters in light of the changes to working patterns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. According to a stock exchange update, the firm will remain based in its current office at 12 Smithfield Street. The decision was made after the group ‘evaluated its office space requirements post pandemic’ and took account of the move towards ‘a more flexible working model for its staff’.

Tilney Smith & Williamson has launched a succession planning service for retiring Advisers wishing to sell their client banks. The Wealth Management giant said it is keen to speak to Advisers who don’t have a succession plan in place and ‘wish to explore bringing their client book to the firm to ensure an orderly and gradual handover of the relationships they have built up’.

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

Mergers & Acquisitions

Wren Sterling has changed hands from one Private Equity Owner to another as part of a management buyout of the firm. In an announcement, the firm said US Private Equity firm Lightyear Capital will have a majority stake and the management team will retain a minority stake, to complete a management buyout from Palatine Private Equity and shareholders.

Progeny has bought financial advisory firm J M Glendinning Financial Services (Glendinning). Glendinning was established in 1987 and now has a team of 12.It specialises in providing financial planning services to a select number of private clients and their families in Yorkshire and around the UK. Progeny said the deal will allow it to expand its presence in Leeds and the wider Yorkshire area.

In further news...Progeny has been bought by US Private Equity house Further Global Capital Management. The deal, for an undisclosed amount, will see the Private Equity firm take a majority stake that Progeny says will provide capital growth for the business.

River and Mercantile is returning to its roots as a “pure play Asset Manager” as it offloads its £42bn solutions business to rival Schroders. The fund group confirmed on Tuesday it had struck a deal with Schroders to sell its fiduciary management arm for £230m, a 28.2% premium over River and Mercantile’s undisturbed market cap on 9 August 2021. The deal sees Schroders add to its £717bn in assets under management. River and Mercantile said it intends to reposition itself as a specialist Asset Manager and to diversify and grow its investment capability, product range and geographic exposure.

Abrdn has acquired investing insights platform Finimize, a firm that empowers retail investors to make informed investment decisions. Finimize, which has over 1 million subscribers to its daily newsletter and around 40,000 premium subscribers. It aims to making investing accessible and digestible to clients.

In further news...Wren Sterling has made a further three acquisitions, following its acquisition of White Wells Investments in February. The national Adviser bought Sentinel Private Clients, based in Warwickshire, Cardiff-based Bookkeeping Administration Services and Rothesay Intelligent Financial Services, based in Bedfordshire.

Fairstone has snapped up south coast advice firm Chadney Bulgini n a deal that will bring in £850m of assets under management. The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, is part of Fairstone’s new strategy of targeting bigger advice firms who want to base valuations on profits.

Two ex-Quilter Directors have bought IFA firm MKC Wealth to provide the cornerstone of a new wealth management business. Dominic Rose, who spent five years at Quilter Private Client Advisers as Strategy and Acquisitions Director, and Nigel Speirs, Managing Director of the same firm for three years, are launching the venture with backing from Cabot Square Capital.

Movers & Shakers

National IFA Wren Sterling has appointed Henry Blunt as Acquisitions Director, as it sets its sights on advice firms in areas including Edinburgh, Bristol and Manchester. Blunt joins after eight years at Retiring IFA, where he was Managing Director for the past six years.

Wealth Manager and Financial Planner Tilney Smith & Williamson has appointed former Aviva Financial Adviser Neil Thornton as a Financial Planner. Mr Thornton joins its Exeter office as part of the firm’s expansion in the West Country. The Wealth Manager also recently added locally-based investment management capability in Exeter for the first time and says it is seeing “growing demand” for Financial Planning services in the region.

Quilter Cheviot has recruited three Investment Managers and a Business Development Manager, as it continues to expand its regional presence. Earlier this year, Investment Manager Dominic Lacey was appointed to the Salisbury office from 4 Shires Asset Management. Last month, Andrew Gilbertj oined Quilter Cheviot’s Edinburgh office from Parmenion Capital Partners. He will work closely with Private Clients and Financial Advisers in and around the capital city. In the Midlands, Investment Manager Andrew Cartwright joined Quilter Cheviot’s Birmingham office from Brewin Dolphin and Business Development Manager Philip Hurdman joined from Aegon. Hurdman’s hire follows two further Business Development Manager hires at Quilter Cheviot, with Marshall Doherty joining the Edinburgh team from Aberdeen Standard Investments and Nick Lumb joining the Leeds team, from Franklin Templeton.

Former James Hay Chief Executive Alastair Conway has joined platform technology providerFNZ. Conway joined as CEO of UK Pensions in September. He was James Hay’s CEO between 2013 and when he departed the Pensions and platform provider late last year. 

VP Bank named Marcel Tschanz as Chief Transformation Officer - a newly-created post. Previously, he worked as a partner in PwC’s Swiss banking advisory business. The move was a return to VP as he had been Chief Executive of its Swiss franchise from 2011 to 2013.

Vermeer Partners, the London-based investment management partnership, said that James Edgedale, former Chairman of JM Finn, was scheduled to take up the role of joint Chairman in July 2022 alongside Michael Kerr-Dineen.

Corporate Services and Funds Solutions provider Zedra appointed Damien Fitzgerald to lead its Guernsey fund offering. Fitzgerald spent the bulk of his career in Guernsey’s Financial Services industry in Fund Administration, Corporate Governance, Accounting and Auditing.

In further news...ZEDRA appointed Joe McBurney as Business Development Director. McBurney is based in London. Over the past 20 years, he has worked in the trust and fiduciary industries in Jersey, the British Virgin Islands, Switzerland, the UK and Singapore. 

Global Funds Services provider JTC appointed Aidan Davin as Managing Director to Head Operations in the Isle of Man. The Private Client veteran spent 13 years working at a senior level in the Isle of Man and has joined from Equiom Group, where he was Chief Operating Officer for the Crown Dependencies offices and a Director at the firm since 2008.

KPMG in the UK appointed Daniel Barry as a Partner within its Wealth and Asset Management regulatory practice. Barry leads the firm’s risk and compliance advisory capability in this sector. He has more than twenty years’ experience in the field, having spent eight of those at Deloitte. 

Deutsche Bank appointed Dominique Joorisas Asia-Pacific Head of Wealth Solutions. Jooris was most recently Chief Executive of Bank Pictet & Cie in Singapore, prior to which he served in a number of senior roles, including 11 years at Goldman Sachs in both Asia (excluding Japan) and Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 

Fidelity International appointed Caroline Shaw as a Portfolio Manager in its solutions and multi-asset team. Shaw, who has more than 20 years of industry experience, joined from Courtiers Asset Management Limited, where she was Head of Asset Management. 

Boris Collardi stepped down from his role as Managing Partner of Swiss Private Bank Pictet. No reason was given for his departure.

Wealth Manager Brooks Macdonald added two offices in the North West and Edinburgh. Jennifer Christian joined as Business Development Manager for the North West; and Natalie Tysoe joined as an Investment Director in Edinburgh. Christian was most recently an Investment Specialist for the North West at Schroders Personal Wealth. Previously Tysoe worked at Schroders where she was an Investment Specialist.

Succession, the UK Financial Planning and Wealth Management group, appointed Andrew Barker as Director of Proposition. Barker joined from Standard Life where he was Head of Advice Proposition and delivery for the digital retirement advice business.

Schroders Capital appointed James MacNamara as Head of Operational Real Estate Strategies. He joined from SVP Global where he was Co-Head of European Real Estate. MacNamara, who also held senior positions in Real Estate and Private Equity at Kildare Partners, Mount Kellett Capital Management and Perella Weinberg Partners, has over 20 years in the sector. 

Brewin Dolphin appointed Don Perciva las a Wealth Director in its 1762 team based in Mayfair. 

HSBCnamed Ibrahim Al Abed as Head of Private Banking to lead its private banking business in Qatar.

Coutts appointed Paul Bagatelas as its new Head of the international business. Warren Thompson was covering the role as part of his role as Head of UHNW business. Bagatelas began his career at the US Department of State, first in Washington and then in Brussels.

Tilney Smith & Williamson appointed Rayhan Ghandi as an Investment Manager based in its office in Guildford, Surrey. Ghandi previously worked at Charles Stanley, starting as a Finance Assistant in 2013; he was later promoted to the position of Investment Manager. 

Chelverton Asset Management appointed Henry Botting as Assistant Fund Manager, working alongside James Baker and Edward Booth, Co-Managers of the MI Chelverton UK Equity Growth Fund. Botting has seven years’ experience in Equity research and Investment Management. 

Barclays Private Bank appointed Juliet Agnew as Head of Philanthropy. She replaced Emma Turner, who was key in developing the division and retired after more than 12 years at Barclays.

Schroders said financial industry figure Dame Elizabeth Corley joined its board as a Non-Executive Director. Dame Elizabeth has more than 45 years' experience in the sector including as CEO of Allianz Global Investors and previously at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers and Coopers & Lybrand. 

Barclays CEOJ es Staley is to exit the bank over his decision to contest the findings of a forthcoming regulatory probe of his relationship with paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

The Chartered Insurance Institute’s (CII)Sian Fisher will step down as CEO on 31 March next year. Fisher has been CEO since 2016, and her departure has been timed to occur after the membership consultation. She has faced pressure in recent months over the CII board’s attempt to deregister the Personal Finance Society (PFS). Earlier this year, the PFS board voted down the proposal, with its President Sarah Lord later criticising the CII board’s ‘ambiguous communication’ during the process. 

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