Financial Services News
Rothschild & Co’s UK wealth management arm paid its shareholders more than £20m in dividends last year as its annual profit rose by nearly two-thirds. In the year to the end of December 2021, profit before tax rose by 67.7% to £36.4m on the back of strong growth in Assets Under Management (AUM). And revenue increased by 28.6%, or £22.7m, to reach £102m, as AUM grew by £1.55bn to £13.7bn.
The number of new clients signing up with Hargreaves Lansdown tumbled by two-thirds in the first four months of the year as the peak exuberance of 2021 went into reverse and rivals circled. At the opening bell, shares in the business were 7.3% lower at 828p and are now less than half the £17.72 they traded at a year ago. By 8:30am the shares had tumbled 9.5%. To the end of April, just 42,000 new clients had signed up with the UK’s dominant fund platform this year, down from 126,000 a year earlier. Total client numbers were effectively flat, at 1.7 million.
Brewin Dolphin took in £1bn in net inflows in six months to the end of March, ahead of its purchase by RBC last month. The inflows, representing an annualised growth rate of 4%, were aided by £500m of flows into the group’s MPS proposition in addition to almost complete client retention. The firm’s total funds for the period fell to £56.3bn from £56.9bn at the end of September, however. The fall was attributed to the conflict in Ukraine and the macroeconomic environment.
Bestinvest has confirmed that it has now completed its planned relaunch. It is now live on the company’s website. The DIY platform, which is part of Tilney Smith & Williamson, announced the relaunch in January. Tilney Smith & Williamson Chief Executive Chris Woodhouse said: “It is estimated that there are 9.2 million people in the UK who already have some form of long-term savings but who are not getting professional advice and have low confidence in their investment knowledge."
Financial planning software firm Voyant has confirmed that it will close Voyant Adviser, its desktop-based product, later this year. No firm date has been decided yet but Voyant said it will contact all clients with a significant amount of notice once the company has finalised a firm date. Instead, Advisers will have to switch to Voyant AdviserGo.
Charles Stanley is launching a new solution designed to help UK adults looking for financial guidance. This new hybrid advice model, OneStep, aims to deliver value to individuals looking to take their first step on the planning journey with light touch guidance. OneStep aims to give those individuals the reassurance of speaking to a qualified professional before reaching a fully-fledged financial planning service.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Private equity-backed advice firm Amber River Group, previously known as Socium Group, has bought Cheltenham-based advice firm HDA, taking its assets under influence to £6.7bn.
Legal and financial services provider Irwin Mitchell has acquired Cheshire-based Chartered Financial Planning firm TWP Wealth for an undisclosed sum. TWP has £100m in Assets Under Management, taking Irwin Mitchell to over £1bn in assets. The Chartered Financial Planning firm is based in Alderley Edge (Cheshire) and provides Financial Planning to both private and corporate clients.
Benchmark Capital has acquired Derry-based Waterhouse Financial Planning following its historic ‘partnership’ with the firm. The purchase, made for an undisclosed sum, is Schroders-owned Benchmark’s first acquisition in Northern Ireland and its 27th overall. Benchmark will take on £120m in client assets, bringing its total client assets to £2.1bn.
Brooks Macdonald has bought Nuneaton-based adviser Integrity Wealth Solutions for an undisclosed sum. The advice firm was launched in 2013 and currently has £250m in Assets Under Management (AUM) across 800 clients, which will add to Brooks’ AUM of £16.7bn.
Mattioli Woods-owned Wealth Manager Ludlow has acquired Glasgow-based wealth firm Ferguson Financial Management in a deal worth up to £1.2m. Southport-based Ludlow will pay an initial lump sum of £600,000 for Ferguson’s trade and assets, with the potential to pay a further consideration of up to £600,000, dependent on Ferguson hitting performance targets in the year after the deal is completed.
Kingswood has bought Lincolnshire advice firm Vincent & Co for £421,000, adding £25m in client assets. The deal is Kingswood’s fifth acquisition this year. The wealth firm currently has £9bn in Assets Under Advice and Management across 19,000 clients.
AIM-listed Wealth Manager consolidator Team has acquired Jersey-based financial planning and investment consultancy business Concentric. The deal, for an initial £1.7m in cash, plus a deferred consideration of £800,000 in new Team shares, is being funded by a subscription from existing and new investors in Team.
Movers & Shakers
High-net-worth brokerage Wealth Club has recruited HL Select UK Growth Manager Charlie Huggins to launch a discretionary service by the end of this year. Huggins spent more than a decade at Hargreaves Lansdown, starting as a fund analyst before being promoted to run the Growth and co-manage the HL Select UK Income funds, altogether accounting for around £500m in client cash.
The Head of Tilney Smith & Williamson’s family wealth business Rupert Phelps has exited following five years with the company. Phelps previously worked as Director of family office services at property specialist Savills. He began his career in finance at Merrill Lynch’s international private client group, following five years in the army.
In further news...Tilney Smith & Williamson has appointed Neil Coxhead as Chief Executive of its host ACD and fund administration business. He succeeds James Gordon who is retiring at the end of July after nearly 16 years at Tilney Smith & Williamson and almost 35 years in the industry. Coxhead has over 30 years’ experience in the UK funds industry and joins from asset management servicing group Waystone where he was Managing Director.
James Rowbury has left Redmayne Bentley to join Brooks Macdonald as a Portfolio Manager. Rowbury had spent close to four years at Redmayne Bentley and was appointed investment research lead in October 2020. He also chaired the firm’s ESG investment committee.
Brown Shipley’s Luxembourg-based parent company, Quintet Private Bank, has hired Chris Allen as Group Chief Executive. He joins Quintet after a 15-year run at HSBC, working most recently as EMEA Head of Global Private Banking, where he managed €150bn (£128bn) in Assets Under Management across 20 client markets.
Toby Nangle, Columbia Threadneedle Investments’ Global Head of Asset Allocation and Head of Multi-Asset, EMEA, has left the firm after 10 years. A spokesperson for Columbia Threadneedle said Nangle had decided to pursue a change in career. Nangle had led a nine-strong multi-asset team since joining the firm in 2012 from Baring Asset Management, where he was Director of the multi-asset group.
Kingswood has hired Christopher Calvocoressi to lead its technology transformation agenda and develop its online portal, Kingswood Go. Calvocoressi joins from Schroders Personal Wealth, where he spent nearly two years as a Programme Manager, focusing on technology transformation.
Stonehage Fleming has appointed partner Richard Stride to head of its private office in Jersey and recruited Standard Bank trust specialist Bruce Sinclair to the team. Stride has worked for the business since 2007 and previously headed its private office in Johannesburg, before moving to the island in 2017. He will take over from Ana Ventura who will remain with the company as a Trustee and Adviser. Sinclair, formerly Head of Legal for the trust and fiduciary services offshore division, will become a Trustee Director in the Jersey team, reporting to Stride.
Foresters Financial has appointed Nici Audhlam-Gardiner as its new UK Chief Executive subject to regulatory approval. She replaces former CEO Euan Allison who passed away suddenly last August. Audhlam-Gardiner has an extensive career within financial services and her most recent roles have been as Chief Commercial Officer at OneFamily and CEO of its Lifetime Mortgages business.
DIY investment platform Interactive Investor has appointed Saj Arshad as Chief Commercial Officer. Arshad joins the investment platform from UK retail bank Santander where he was Chief Customer and Innovation Officer.
The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has appointed Alan Vallance as its new Chief Executive following the departure of Sian Fisher at the end of March. Vallance, who is currently CEO of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), will take up the role at the professional body for insurance and personal finance on 30 August.
All information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from multiple Financial Services Media sources and individual company press releases.