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Financial Services Newsletter - Friday 7th January 2022

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Financial Services News

Peel Hunt has named Rathbones as one of its top growth plays for 2022 following last year’s deal to buy Saunderson House. Rathbones spent £150m on Saunderson, adding £4.7bn worth of advised assets to its coffers. The deal, which was completed in October, lifted Rathbones’ total advised assets above £8bn. It also boosted the number of in-house Financial Planners at Rathbones from 25 to 80.

Leicester Wealth Management firm Mattioli Woods has announced impressive results for the six months to the end of November 2021. The company has reached what it is calling a “key milestone” of £15.1bn total client assets – an increase of 42% on last year. Revenues have also climbed, up from £29.5m last year to almost £50m this time around.

In further news...Mattioli Woods is on the hunt for more deals after a flurry of buys last year lifted the firm’s Assets Under Management (AUM) above £15bn. In a trading update covering the six months to 30 November, the Wealth and Asset Manager said AUM rose 42% on the equivalent period of 2020 to hit £15.1bn. Gross discretionary Assets Under Management jumped by 55% to £5.1bn. This included £1.3bn within its Funds Associate Amati Global Investors, a 75% rise on the previous year. Overall revenue, which is typically higher in the second half, rose by almost 70% to £49.9m.

Smith & Williamson Fund Administration has been appointed as an Authorised Corporate Director (ACD) for seven Brooks Macdonald funds. S&W is already the Fund Administrator for 11 funds run by Cornelian Asset Managers, which was acquired by Brooks in November 2019. The deal will add £1bn in Funds Under Administration to S&W’s business.

Walker Crips has battled to turn a profit in what has been a tough period for the business. According to a half-year report covering the six months to the end of September, the firm recorded a pre-tax profit of £54,000 once exceptional items were factored in. This follows the £451,000 loss it posted in the corresponding period of last year. The Wealth firm faced a challenging period during the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic, during which it made several redundancies.

An advice network that was once owned by Harwood Wealth Management has been declared in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Network Direct, which has 107 Advisers on its books, had been owned by Harwood Wealth Management before it fell into administration last November. It was subsequently acquired by Adviser Services Holdings Limited (ASHL). The FSCS said it had 29 claims against Network Direct, three-quarters of which relate to Pension Transfer advice.

Manchester-based family office Artorius has partnered with green fintech firm Sugi to use its ESG analytics tools. Artorius, which manages £1.6bn in client assets, will offer clients access to Sugi’s metrics that provide information on how individual investments impact the environment. Sugi is an app-based product that was launched in 2019. Artorius is the first Wealth firm to use its software-as-a-service offering. It was not revealed how much the family office is paying for the service.

Shares in Jupiter Fund Management have shot up on news it had hired advisory firm Robey Warshaw to build a barrier against the wave of Asset Management Consolidation. The £61bn Fund Manager has brought in the M&A boutique, which appointed former Chancellor George Osborne as a Partner in April 2021, to create a strategy to keep takeover predators at bay.

Charles Stanley has renewed its sponsorship of Premiership Rugby team Harlequins for a further three years. Charles Stanley Chief Executive Paul Abberley said: ‘I am delighted to continue this partnership. Charles Stanley and Harlequins are a great match as both have long and stable track records, having been around since 1792 and 1866 respectively.’

Brewin Dolphin has flicked the switch on its transfer to Avaloq two years after it signed a deal with the Swiss wealth tech firm. The wealth platform will replace Brewin Dolphin’s legacy systems next summer but the two will run in parallel until then in order to ‘de-risk’ the transition. The integration was initially set to be completed by mid-2021 but was delayed in November 2020.

Client assets in WH Ireland’s wealth business rose 44% from £1.7bn to £2.4bn in the 12 months to the end of September, near doubling underlying pre-tax profit from £600,000 to £1.1m. Group revenue stood at £17.5m, up 38% on a year earlier. Revenue from the wealth division rose from £6.1m to £7.8m over the period.

The Private Equity firm that has snapped up James Hay's parent company and bought Nucleus Financial in recent years is reported to be looking to sell at least a part of its stake in the platforms already. The firm bought James Hay's parent company for £206m in 2018 and then snapped up Nucleus for around £140m in early 2021, creating a combined adviser platform business with £45m Assets Under Administration. Epiris has since sold the Financial Planning business Saunderson House, which it bought from James Hay's parent company IFG in the same deal, for £150m to Rathbones.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Schroders has struck a £358m deal to buy a 75% stake in sustainable infrastructure Fund Manager Greencoat Capital Holdings. Established in 2009, Greencoat is one of Europe’s largest renewable infrastructure firms with £6.7bn in Assets Under Management. The firm covers a wide area of infrastructure investment, including Wind, Solar, Bioenergy and Heat. It operates nearly 200 power generation assets across the UK, Europe and the US, with an aggregate net generation capacity of over 3 gigawatts.

Nottingham-based Wren Sterling has revealed that its secondary management buyout has completed, following approval from the Financial Conduct Authority. In July 2021, Wren Sterling agreed terms on a majority investment from investment funds affiliated with Lightyear Capital LLC (Lightyear) to complete a management buyout from Palatine Private Equity and shareholders. Terms were not disclosed. Lightyear is a New York-based financial services-focused Private Equity firm with sector expertise in Asset and Wealth Management.

Elevation Financial Group (EFG), a Birmingham-based Wealth Management firm, has acquired Innovate Financial Solutions (IFS). With this deal, EFG hopes to bolster its presence in the South-East. It will maintain IFS’s offices in both Essex and London. EFG Group Managing Director Tony Smith said: “Innovate Financial Solutions was a good match for us in terms of geography, clients and service offering and we’re grateful to the team at Gunner & Co. for their management of the deal.”

National advice and Fund Management firm One Four Nine Group has bought Total Wealth Planning (TWP), as part of its “ambitious” growth plans. This is the group’s third acquisition since it launched in October 2021. The acquisition adds a further 12 staff members and £240m Assets Under Management (AUM), bringing the total group AUM to around £540m. It also brings around 1,000 clients – both direct clients and clients on TWP’s digital advice platform, i2day, launched in 2016 – under the One Four Nine Group umbrella.

FNZ has completed the sale of GBST to Anchorage Capital Partners and will acquire GBST’s capital markets division. It’s been almost two and a half years since FNZ first announced it had acquired rival firm GBST for around £150m.

Morningstar intends to acquire Wealth Management platform provider Praemium’s UK and international business. According to a statement on the Australian Securities Exchange it has been agreed that Morningstar will take on operations in the United Kingdom, Jersey, Hong Kong, and Dubai. The revelation puts an end to one of the most followed sales of the year with a deal that eschews Private Equity Owners.

Independent Wealth Planners (IWP) has made its 30th acquisition with the purchase of Throgmorton Wealth Management. Throgmorton is based in East Anglia, Lincolnshire, and the East Midlands. It has £135m Assets Under Management (AUM) and 500 clients, and provides Financial Planning, Wealth Management and Mortgage services to individuals, companies and trusts.

Canaccord Genuity Group has entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire Punter Southall Group’s wealth business for a cash consideration of £164m. The deal includes the intermediary-facing brand Psigma and is subject to regulatory approval. Punter Southall Wealth (PSW) is a vertically integrated Wealth Manager, which offers a broad range of advice and Wealth Management solutions to high-net-worth individuals.

Fund and Wealth Management group M&G has received the regulatory go ahead for its acquisition of Financial Adviser firm Sandringham Financial Partners. The deal will spur M&G’s ambitions to become a major Wealth Manager as well as an established Investment Manager. The deal, first announced in August, will add £2.5bn of Assets Under Advice to M&G as well as 180 Sandringham advising Partners and more than 10,000 individual clients.

Movers & Shakers

Schroders Personal Wealth (SPW) has expanded its staff in Yorkshire and the North East as well as in Oxford. This is part of SPW’s growth strategy to build its presence across the UK. In Yorkshire and the North East, SPW has appointed Mark Shay to lead its business development and partnership proposition. He is joining SWP from Barclays Wealth where he led business development across the North of England. He has over 25 years of private wealth experience. 

Meanwhile, in Oxford, SPW is hiring Benjamin Beck, Sophie Haslehurst, and Katie Nutting as Advisers. Beck became a Financial Adviser in 2016 after a six-year career in the British Army. He most recently spent two years as an Adviser for Nigel Grice & Associates. Haslehurst joins from Investec Wealth where she was an Associate Financial Planning Director for nearly five years. Prior to that, she held roles at Sovereign IFA and EQ Investors. Finally, Nutting joins after nearly two years at Obiter Wealth Management, where she was a Financial Planning Consultant.

In further news...Schroders Personal Wealth has appointed Ben Waterhouse as its new Chief Client Officer. Waterhouse will drive the firm’s growth strategy across the UK and will aim to improve and deliver SPW’s advice proposition to clients. He joins SPW from Barclays Wealth, where he worked as Managing Director and Head of Distribution, in charge of all client-facing functions in the UK.

Brown Shipley, a Quintet Private Bank, has appointed Kenny Cummings as a Financial Planner, based in Edinburgh, bolstering its wealth planning team in Scotland. Cummings has served as a Financial Advisor since 2017. He joins Brown Shipley from Spence & Spence IFA, where he met the complex needs of an array of high net worth individuals.

Canada Life UK has appointed two new members of its leadership team. Stuart Robinson will take up the role of Chief Financial Officer and David Germain will be Chief Information Officer. Robinson joins from Aviva where since 2010, he has held senior roles in risk, compliance, change and finance and most recently as interim CEO and Managing Director of Aviva Equity Release. Germain joins from RSA where he was CIO, Group, UK & International and chaired the firm’s BAME committee.

In further news...Jordan Sriharan has joined Canada Life as a Fund Manager on its £3.4bn multi-asset team, after exiting Canaccord Genuity in August. Sriharan was formerly Head of Canaccord Genuity’s managed portfolio service (MPS) and passive investment team. He was replaced by Nick Muir who had worked at Canaccord for seven years prior to the promotion.

Rathbone Unit Trust Management (RUTM) has appointed Tom Carroll as Chief Investment Officer (CIO). Carroll is joining RUTM from Sanlam Investments that he Co-Founded in 2006. He is acting as Head of Asset Management. Carroll will replace Julian Chillingworth who will retire during 2022.

PGIM Real Estate has appointed Julie Townsend as its ESG lead for Europe and Asia Pacific. She joins after fifteen years at CBRE as its Head of Environmental Consultancy. She was also an Executive Director at the Real Estate investment firm. 

Brewin Dolphin has promoted Rod Walley to Head of its Manchester office, taking over from William Thomson who held the role for more than a decade. Walley joined the wealth firm in 2000 as a graduate stockbroker trainee, and has led the Manchester branch’s intermediary team since 2014.

Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) has appointed Siobhan Clarke as its Chief Investment Operations Officer. Clarke has more than 25 years’ experience and joins from M&G Investments, where she worked as Head of International Operations.

Quilter Investors has hired Schroders Personal Wealth (SPW) CIO Marcus Brookes to replace the retiring CIO Bambos Hambi, who announced his retirement last month. Brookes has around 20 years’ fund selection experience, joining Schroders following its acquisition of Cazenove Capital where he was Head of multi-manager. Prior to this, he had spells at Gartmore and Insight Investments.

Weatherbys Private Bank has hired a former Director at Close Brothers’ asset management division, Shirley Coe, as a Senior Banker. Coe was most recently a Business Development Adviser at the investment outsourcing business the Global CIO Office in Singapore.

TwentyFour Asset Management’s long-running Chief Executive Mark Holman is to stand down from the role in a handover to fellow Founding Partner Ben Hayward. Holman had headed the business from launch in 2008. He will remain with the business as a member of its multi-sector bond team.

Tilney Smith & Williamson
has hired Neil Williams as Head of Business Development for its Authorised Corporate Director (ACD) and fund administration business. Williams joins following five years at FNZ, where he was a Sales Director in the firm’s transfer agency business.

James Hambro & Partners has continued its rapid regional expansion with the recruitment of two 7IM staffers to its recently launched Scottish outlet in Edinburgh. Veteran Investment Manager Colin Orr joins the office alongside Client Services Manager Emily Palmer

Edward Hagger is leaving JM Finn to join former colleague Harry Burnham at the Raymond James CityPoint branch. Hagger had worked at JM Finn for nearly six years as a Senior Portfolio Manager. Before that, he spent more than two decades at Brewin Dolphin as a Divisional Director.

Quilter Private Client Advisers (PCA)
 Head Andrew Moore has left the firm after it was absorbed into discretionary wealth management business Quilter Cheviot. Moore will not be replaced directly. However Sarah Waring, Propositions Director at PCA, has been appointed to a newly created role of Financial Planning Director. Meanwhile, Sammy Licence has been promoted to Head of Commercial Development. 

Hargreaves Lansdown has hired Virgin Group’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Amy Stirling, to fill the void left by Philip Johnson’s pending departure. Stirling, who has been part of Virgin’s senior leadership team since September 2016, will succeed Johnson as Hargreaves’ CFO next February.

Charles Stanley has hired Alwyn Mulryne as Investment Director in its Manchester office. Mulryne joins from 14 years at Brown Shipley where he was a Private Client Director. Before working at the private bank, he held roles at Tilney, Gartmore and Citibank.

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