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Financial Services Newsletter - Friday 4th February 2022

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Financial Services News

Abrdn (ABDN)has sold almost 40 million of its shares inPhoenix Groupto a range of institutional investors for £264m. The sale represents 4% of Phoenix’s total issued share capital. Shares were sold at 660p. Net proceeds from the sale will be returned to shareholders, with the timing to be announced after the company’s results on 1 March.

St James’s Place (SJP)has announced it will rebrand its image for the first time in 30 years in a move that will see the restricted advice giant drop ‘Wealth Management’ from its moniker. Alongside a name change for the business, SJP’s logo and branding will change to a more ‘modern and contemporary’ alternative across its written and digital communication to clients, including its investor magazine and annual wealth statements. The advice giant said the rebrand was in part driven by a need to stay relevant.

Brooks Macdonaldhas opened a new office in Birmingham’s city centre as part of a wider restructure of its regional business. The office replaces the firm’s former office in Leamington Spa and forms part of the firm’s expansion across the Midlands, the South West and Wales, with offices in Cardiff, Cheltenham and Exeter.  

In further news...Brooks Macdonaldhas opened an office in Southampton, replacing its former Hampshire base in Fareham. The branch will become the company’s largest behind its London headquarters, housing 25 Investment Managers and support staff responsible for £1.5bn in assets.

Investment industry sales veteranAndrew Denham-Davishas died. Known by friends and colleagues as ADD or DD, Denham-Davis worked in sales roles across the investment industry for 30 years. His longest stint was at Brooks Macdonald, where he was Director of Business Development and built and managed a 35-strong team over 15 years. At the time of his death he was a Business Development Manager atWaverton Investment Management, which he joined in November 2020. He had left Brooks earlier that same year.

Tilney-ownedBestinvestis set to relaunch as a low-cost service offering free financial coaching, hybrid advice, DIY investing and ready-made portfolios. The revamped investment platform will offer an ‘affordable’ hybrid advice service, a portfolio planning tool and a Smart Portfolio range for clients to select from.

City Asset Managementis to open in Cambridge following the recruitment of a three-strong team from Brown Shipley. Paul Fox, Jason Armstrong-Butler and James Ross-Russell had worked at Brown Shipley since 2019, following its acquisition of local champion NW Brown. A spokesperson for the group said: ‘Cambridge is a specific region where CAM has spotted an opportunity and would like to focus and expand.'

Manchester-headquartered private officeArtoriushas opened a base in York as it expands its regional footprint to three domestic locations. The business, which has offices in London and Zurich, will be based in Bowcliffe Hall, a stately home turned office and event space, midway between York and Leeds.

Profit atRedmayne Bentleynear doubled in the year to April 2021, as increased execution-only trading activity drove a leap in turnover. Operating profit at the Leeds-based Private Client Manager and Stockbroker jumped by 94% to £3.6m, as turnover rose by 13.9%, or £3.5m, to £28.5m.

Barclaysis to merge its Wealth & Investments and Private Bank arms in a consolidation of its domestic and international private client divisions to help drive growth. The bank did not offer a timetable for the transition, which will remain dependent on regulatory approval.

Plymouth-based national Financial PlannerContinuumhas reported a 39% increase in annual turnover to £10.51m for the year ending 31 December 2021. The Financial Planning firm said assets at 31 December were £1.49bn, up 30% year on year.

Tilney Smith & Williamsonwill open a new office in Belfasts business district. The Wealth Manager will move its team of around 40 from its current offices in Linenhall Street in Belfast to the The Ewart building, a recently renovated heritage landmark development. The purchase of the new office comes as the firm seeks to expand into Northern Ireland and build on its presence in the city, which dates back to 1843. 

A former employee of Wealth ManagerCourtiershas won a case against the firm at an employment tribunal after he was dismissed for refusing to return to the office during the Covid-19 pandemic. The case, which resulted in Courtiers having to pay out more than £14,000 in compensation, centred around the employee’s refusal to return to the company’s Henley office in 2020 on the basis that his girlfriend was considered clinically vulnerable to Covid-19.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Benchmark Capital, part of the Schroders Group, has made its first purchase of the year buying advice firm Redbourne Wealth Management. Redbourne will form part of Benchmark’s national advice business and will add £310m to the existing £1.8bn of client assets. Following the deal, the number of Financial Planners will also increase to 56 across 8 offices in the UK.

Kingswoodhas acquired Rotherham-based financial advisory firmAllotts Financial Servicesfor £2.5m. The cash deal, which will complete in two years’ time, with half the sum paid upfront and the remainder subject to performance targets, will boost Kingswood’s UK assets under management (AUM) to £6.5bn across 16,600 clients.

National advice firmSuccession Wealthhas boughtOxford Advisory Partnershipin its second acquisition of 2022. The cash deal, made for an undisclosed sum, will add £175m in client assets to Succession, taking its total assets under management (AUM) to £9.6bn.

In further news...Succession Wealth has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Pannells Financial Planning, one of the UK’s leading Financial Planning businesses. Pannells currently manages over £1.4 billion in client assets. Pannells is one of the longest-established and largest independent financial planning firms in the UK, with seven offices in England and Scotland. It was founded in 1989 to deliver a wide range of bespoke financial solutions for both individuals and businesses.

The High Court has approved the acquisition ofCharles StanleybyRaymond James, five months after the deal was first announced. On 29 July, the two Wealth Management businesses announced Raymond James would take over the 229-year-old stalwart as a wholly-owned subsidiary at 515p a share, valuing the business at £278.9m. 

AIM-listed national advice firmTavistockhas acquired Southwest-based advice businessMorgan Financial Groupfor £3.7m. The deal means it will acquire the entire share capital of Morgan Financial Group Holdings, which owns regulated advice firm Morgans, from Corimar Asset Management Fund for £3.7m. Of that, £3.1m will be paid upon completion of the deal, with the remaining £600,000 paid 12 months later.

In further news...Tavistock (TAVI) has bought a 21% stake in rival LEBC for £10m, subject to regulatory approval. As part of the deal, Tavistock will acquire all 212,738 A ordinary shares in LEBC Holdings from Marie McVitie, the widow of LEBC founder and former Chief Executive Jack McVitie, meaning it will become a controller of its regulated subsidiaries, national advice firm LEBC Group and business financial planning firm Aspira Corporate Solutions. 

Movers & Shakers

A warm welcome to our latest member of our Financial Services Scotland team - Lynn Wilson. Lynn joins us as a Senior Cosultant, looking after the East Coast of Scotland recruiting for Paraplanners, IFA Administrators, Employee Benefits Administrators, Compliance and Pensions Administrators.

The European investment arm ofSmith & Williamsonhas hired private office bossFiona Sweeneyas its Dublin-based Chief Executive. Sweeney, who previously headed Ireland’s multi-family office Elkstone, takes over from Cedric Cruess Callaghan, who will remain with the firm as a Client Manager.

Tilney Smith & Williamsonhas hiredRichard Stanwellas Investment Director from EFG Bank. Stanwell spent four years as a Senior Director for private banking at EFG. Prior to that he worked at Kleinwort Benson (prior to its Kleinwort Hambros rebrand) for eight years and was Head of UK teams. The role also involved him acting as Deputy Head of Private Banking.

Ruffer alternatives specialistSophie Burke-Murphyhas joined wealth boutiqueFeatherstone Partners. Burke-Murphy spent a decade with Ruffer, managing investment portfolios for private clients and charities. She started her career in 2008 as an Assistant Manager in the GAM multimanager team. 

David Cumminghas once again joined forces withEuan Munrofollowing a restructure atNewton Investment Management. Munro, who left Aviva Investors early last year when he was appointed CEO of Newton, has recruited the firm’s former Equities Boss Cumming for Newton’s UK Equity team. Cumming followed Munro to Aviva Investors at the end of 2017, shortly after their previous employer, Standard Life Investments, struck a deal to acquire Aberdeen Asset Management. He left Aviva Investors last June following a restructure of its UK equities desk and will now manage Newton’s BNY Mellon UK Income fund. 

Architect of Rowan Dartington’s turnaroundGraham Coxellhas been appointed Chair of Sussex-based digital Wealth ManagerVerso. The hire was accompanied with news the firm had struck a deal to buy Liverpool-based advice firmPavis Financial Management, providing a North West office.

St James’s Place (SJP)Managing DirectorIan Gascoignewill retire as a Director and stand down from the board on 31 March, having served 31 years at the restricted advice giant, 19 of them as a Director. He will remain in a part-time advisory role and continue to serve as a trustee of the firm’s charitable foundation. Partnership Director and board memberPeter Edwardswill continue to lead SJP’s UK advice partnership, while Chief Operating OfficerIain Raynerwill remain responsible for its largest firms and Asian operations. 

Charles Stanleyhas appointedDan Ellisas Director of Investment Management Services (IMS) in London. Ellis has more than 30 years of experience in wealth management and private banking. Before joining Charles Stanley, he worked as a Senior Consultant on projects for wealth management businesses including Tilney Smith & Williamson.

Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management (CGWM)has appointedHarry Plunkettas a Wealth Planning Adviser to its Worcester office. Plunkett has five years’ experience in wealth management, previously working for Morrinson Wealth Management LLP and St James’s Place.

Quilter CheviotInvestment DirectorDavid Millerhas brought down the curtain on his 40-year career. Miller started out as a Stockbroker with Sheppards and Chase in 1980. He got his fund management break with Flemings and went on to become Managing Director and Head of the UK Private Client Investment Team at JP Morgan Private Bank before moving to Royal Bank of Canada. In 2007 he joined Cheviot Asset Management as a Partner and remained with the business following Quilter’s £585m acquisition of the company in 2012.  

In further news...Quilter Cheviot has hiredAndrew Fahyas Head of Financial Planning at its Dublin-based European business as it launches an advice firm for EU clients. He joins from Brewin Dolphin Ireland, where he worked as Head of Tax & Financial Planning, having joined via its acquisition of Investec Wealth’s local business.

Franklin Templetonhas hiredAnne Simpsonas its first Global Head of Sustainability, as part of its continued drive to be a world leader in ESG. Simpson, who has 35 years’ investment and academic experience, was most recently with the giant California Public Employees Retirement System, where she had worked as Managing Investment Director for board governance and sustainability.

Artorius Wealthhas appointedRichard Page, Chairman of Inspired Pet Nutrition (IPN), as an independent Non-Executive Director. Page joined the family pet food business IPN in 2006 as its Managing Director. In December 2020, he led its sale to CapVest.

Platform technology providerSecclhas appointed Nucleus FounderDavid Fergusonas its new CEO. Ferguson was CEO of Nucleus Financial Group and led the platform to £20bn in assets under administration. He stepped down last September, after it was taken over by James Hay. 

Marlboroughhas hired a veteran Fund ManagerNick Petersto develop new investment propositions for the business. Peters joins the firm from Fidelity International, where he spent nine years as a multi-asset Portfolio Manager. He co-managed a range of portfolios for the fund giant alongside Eugene Philalithis, including the Fidelity Diversified Growth fund.

Credit SuisseChairAntónio Horta-Osóriohas stepped down from the board after an internal probe found he had committed multiple breaches of Covid rules, in the latest scandal at the bank. The exit of Horta-Osório, who as Chief Executive steered Lloyds through a decade following the financial crisis, comes less than a year after the collapse of asset manager Archegos and the insolvency of British supply chain finance company Greensill Capital left Credit Suisse sitting on billions of pounds of losses.

Schroders Personal Wealthhas appointedBen Waterhouseas 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 Shipleyhas appointedCalum Brewsteras Chief Executive, replacingAlan Mathewsonwho is stepping down from the business. Brewster is currently the private bank’s Managing Director, Head of Private Banking & Client Solutions. He joined in 2020 from Julius Baer, where he was Head of UK Regions.

WH Irelandhas hired UBS veteranMichael Bishopas its new Head of Wealth as turnaround specialistStephen Fordexits the company. Ford had spent just over three years at WHI, conducting the second major overhaul of the division in the past decade. Bishop joins with immediate effect and will take over as the business – itself long touted as a probable acquisition target – has turned its sights outward with a planned buyout strategy. Ford will remain with the company until the end of the month to assist with handover.

Michael Morleyhas stepped down as the Chief Executive ofDeutsche Bank’s (DB)UK wealth management business. Morley retires from executive management after a 42-year in financial services, including CEO roles at Coutts and Barclays Wealth. He will be replaced in his role by current Head of UK coverageJames Whittaker. Whittaker will take over as Chief Executive of DB UK Bank, as well as Head of the firm’s International Private Bank (IPB) business in the UK. A Deutsche Bank spokesperson said: ‘[Morley] has played a decisive role in putting in place a business model which is poised for the next phase of growth. ‘Since joining us in October 2020, James Whittaker has ably led our UK client coverage teams and we are confident he will enjoy continued success as we further develop our UK wealth management business to become a leading advisor to entrepreneurs and their families.’

Mark Raywardis to step down as Chief Executive ofVeritas Investment Partners, and is being replaced byCaroline Stokell. Rayward will remain at the firm as Executive Chair, and will continue to play an ‘active role’. Stokell has worked at Veritas for nearly nine years, becoming Deputy Chief Executive last year. She is also a Newton alumnus, working at the firm for 13 years as Director of Investment Management.

Brewin Dolphin Manchester bossWilliam Thomsonhas been appointed toCastlefield’sInvestment Management team. Thomson has more than 35 years’ industry experience and is tasked with developing Castlefield’s client service to charity and private clients. 

In further news...Brewin Dolphinhas appointed Senior Investment ManagerGeraint Hampson-JonesHead of its Cardiff branch as his predecessor David Myrddin-Evans becomes Head of Charities in Wales. Hampson-Jones, who joined Brewin Dolphin from WH Ireland in 2009 as an Investment Manager, took on the responsibilities at the start of this year. Myrddin-Evans had headed the Cardiff office for 12 years. In his new role, he will work on a variety of projects within the wider Brewin Dolphin group.

Brewin Dolphin has appointed David Barclay as its new Dundee Head, replacing Ian MacDonald who is retiring at the end of the year. Barclay is also Head of the wealth firm’s Aberdeen office, which he joined in 1998 as an Investment Manager before being promoted to Divisional Director in 2006. From 2008 to 2017 he was Deputy Head of Office before taking full control. 

M&Gglobal Head of DistributionJonathan Willcocksis leaving the company. Willcocks, popularly known as Joffy, had worked at M&G since 2005, originally as Global Head of Sales, before taking on his current role in 2017. It was not immediately clear where Willcocks would be moving to.

Baillie Giffordhas added a Manager to the team running more than £1bn worth of assets in its two Global Income funds.Ross Mathisonhas been promoted to Portfolio Manager on the £814m Global Income Growth and £312m Responsible Global Equity Income funds. He began working alongside the funds’ existing Managers, James Dow and Toby Ross, at the start of this year.

Weatherbys Private Bankhas appointed a new Head of Investments, following the departure of predecessor John Butters to run his family business.William Morrisjoins the firm from behavioural financial consultancy Oxford Risk, bringing more than 10 years of experience in both client-facing and portfolio optimisation roles.

Anthony Morrow, the Founder of online advice businessOpenMoney, has stood down as CEO after nearly six-and-a-half years. Morrow, who cofounded Manchester-based OpenMoney in 2015 with former cofounder Duncan Cameron, stood down as Chief Executive last month. He will, however, stay close to the business and has taken on a Non-Executive Director role. Morrow will not be directly replaced as CEO; OpenMoney’s leadership team and board, including Cameron and newly appointed Chief Operations Officer Leanne Williams, will oversee day-to-day operations. 

Abrdnhas turned to Schroders Personal Wealth for its new Head of Financial Planning,Sarah Deaves, a former Coutts Chief Executive Officer. Deaves joined Abrdn from SPW where she was Managing Director of client relationships and wealth advice. In her new role, she will be responsible for leading the financial planning business.

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