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Financial Services Newsletter - Friday 1st July 2022

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Financial Services News

Revenue increased 488% year-on-year to £149.7m for Financial Planner and Wealth Manager Kingswood for the year ended 31 December 2021. Kingswood attributed the growth to the integration of UK and US acquisitions. Operating profit increased by £5.5m for £6.3m, a rise of 688%. Group assets under management and advice increased 15% year-on-year to £6.8bn. 

National advice firm Tavistock (TAVI) has reported its highest-ever revenue in a financial year following a string of acquisitions made by the company. In a trading update this morning, the AIM-listed business said revenues from its advice arm had exceeded £32m in the year to March 2022. This was an increase of 14% compared with the previous year.

Franklin Templeton has launched an emerging market debt exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on following Roman Catholic principles. The Franklin Catholic Principles Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt Ucits ETF is an Article 8-compliant fund and sits within the group’s LibertyShares ETF range.

T​ech giant Meta is reviewing all financial services advertisements on its Facebook platform in a crackdown on fraudulent financial advertising. In a recent email from Meta to a Financial Adviser, Meta said it is contacting financial services firms using online advertisements on Facebook to see whether they are an FCA-authorised business. 

​Credit Suisse is facing tougher policing from the UK regulator following a series of crises. The Swiss banking giant has been placed on a watchlist by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) due to concerns it has failed to address culture, governance and risk control issues.

Mergers & Acquisitions

​National advice firm Ascot Lloyd plans to keep growing its UK footprint through acquisitions. Its Chief Executive Officer Nigel Stockton said the recent acquisition of Ascot Lloyd by private equity firm Nordic Capital gave it a new “firepower”. Ascot Lloyd has completed three acquisitions in 2021 and two so far this year. The company stated in the report of its 2021 full year results that a number of further acquisitions are at “a very advanced stage”. Since 2017, Ascot Lloyd has completed 30 acquisitions.

​New advice and wealth management firm Solomon Capital Holdings has agreed acquire national advice network Beaufort Group for an undisclosed sum, according to the firm.

​Kingswood has eight more deals in the pipeline, while its revenue rocketed in 2021 after a series of acquisitions bore fruit. In the year to December, revenue shot up 488% to a record £149.7m, from £25.5m in the prior year – primarily due to UK acquisitions in 2020 and 2021 and the growth of Kingswood’s US division.

​Progeny has bought international advice firm The Fry Group, taking its assets under management past £5.5bn as it set its sights on global expansion. It is the third acquisition Progeny has announced since being taken over by US private equity house Further Global Capital Management last October. 

​Former Quilter Executives Andy Thompson and Darren Sharkey have teamed up with private equity firm JC Flowers to acquire Redhill-based Beaufort Group, including its discretionary fund arm You Asset Management. The deal is a 100% equity buy of the group by Thompson and Sharkey’s new firm Solomon Capital Holdings.

​Seven Investment Management (7IM) Owner Caledonia Investments is set to put the Wealth Manager up for auction later this year. Caledonia looks set to sell the business for £400m in the autumn. The move comes after the multi-asset investment trust was in February reported to have turned down a £300m bid for the London-based private client fund manager.

​St Albans-based Lumin Wealth has bought Southend Adviser Ashridge Financial Management for an undisclosed sum. Ashridge currently has client assets of £85m, lifting Lumin’s total AUM to £860m. The deal follows Lumin’s purchase of Hertfordshire neighbour Enhance Wealth Management in March.

Abrdn (ABDN) has bought a stake in platform and wealthtech software firm Nucoro after pulling out of a deal to purchase its subsidiary company. The new deal will see Abrdn take an undisclosed stake in Nucoro as part of the company’s upcoming funding round. Nucoro is a London-based firm that provides platform technology for direct to consumer (D2C) and adviser-led platforms. 

Movers & Shakers

​Finura has expanded its advisory team with the recruitment of James Dubignon and Chris Budden. James and Chris both joined Finura having worked together for a number of years at a national Asset Manager and financial planning firm.

Jupiter CEO Andrew Formica to step down - Formica will retire from his role as CEO and as a Director in October, when he will be succeeded by Chief Investment Officer Matthew Beesley.

​James Hambro & Partners (JH&P) has promoted Ned Francis and Andrew Rice to Partners at the firm. Financial planning Director Francis joined the company in 2012 when JH&P merged with financial planning business Calkin Pattinson. Rice was previously Finance Director at JO Hambro Capital Management and oversaw the merger with BT Investment Management in October 2011.

​Edmond de Rothschild has promoted Hervé Ordioni to Chief Executive of international private banking, while group private banking boss Michel Longhini has left the firm. Longhini joined the firm in 2019 from UBP, where he had been CEO of private banking for more than nine years. Ordioni has also been appointed a member of the Group Executive Committee (GEC) and will act as the Chairman of the board of Directors of Monaco. He joined the private bank in 1996 and since 2015 has been the firm’s Monaco Chief Executive. Yves Stein, CEO of Edmond de Rothschild Europe, and Renzo Evangelista, CEO of Edmond de Rothschild France, will also join the GEC, at the start of July.

AJ Bell’s Head of Investment Management, Matthew Brennan, has left the firm to join Authorised Corporate Director (ACD) firm Valu-Trac. Brennan will take on the role of Investment Oversight at the company.

Close Brothers Asset Management (CBAM) has hired two Managing Directors to expand its advice presence in the North and across the Midlands and Southwest. David Mellett will develop the firm’s advice presence in the North and joins CBAM from Santander. He began his career as a Branch Manager at Barclays and later went on to work at Lloyds Banking Group as a Financial Planning Consultant, before returning to Barclays for just over a decade at Private Bank, where he worked as Regional Director for almost seven years across Manchester and the Northwest. CBAM’s second hire, Ben Staniforth, will expand the firm’s high-net-worth advice capabilities across the Midlands and Southwest. Staniforth joins from a five-year run at Chase de Vere, where he managed a team of Financial Planners.

In further news...Close Brothers Asset Management (CBAM) has recruited from Sanlam and Rathbones to bolster its South East and London divisions. The hires include James Neild, who joins CBAM’s new Chichester office from Sanlam Private Wealth’s branch located in city, which he headed. He is joined by fellow Sanlam Chichester colleague Tim Harman and Rathbones veteran Simon Heathcoat Amory.

Waverton Investment Management has expanded its adviser solutions team with a new hire. Helen O’Loughlin has joined as Business Development Consultant from Momentum Global Investment Management, where she worked as a Senior Business Development Consultant for a year.

Charles Stanley has promoted James Rae to Head of Inheritance Tax (IHT) portfolio management, replacing Sean O’Flanagan, who left to join Evelyn Partners in March. O’Flanagan had led the AIM IHT division for close to a decade before his departure. Rae joined Charles Stanley in 2017 from Charlotte Square, where he worked as a Portfolio Manager with responsibility for its AIM-based IHT service.

Stonehage Fleming has made a raft of promotions across its Jersey and Guernsey offices. In its Jersey Family Office (JFO) division, Ian Ferguson and Rudi Bodenstein have been bumped up to Partners. Tatiana De Sousa and Stuart Dixon-Smith have been promoted as Associate Directors with the JTO, while Manager positions have also been given to Peter Humphries and Jim Jenkins. Jason Gould, Carly-Anne Samson and Steve Batista have been promoted to Senior Associate level. In the Jersey Group Services division, Milan Pillai has been promoted to Manager and Kelly Frith, Sebastian Plaster and Tom Heulin were appointed as Senior Associates. Meanwhile at Stonehage’s family office in Guernsey Nel Schoeman has been promoted to Associate Director. 

Barclays Wealth Management & Investments has made a string of hires from wealth rivals for an eastern push. The hires include Greig Townsend, who joined the firm on 1 June from Santander as Regional Head. Townsend will be supported by Benjamin Lamers, who joins as East Region Director from Brown Shipley, where he worked as a Client Director. Scott Heslin and Rob Houston complete the round of hires, joining the division as Wealth Managers. The former joins from Brewin Dolphin and the latter moves across from Barclays Premier. 

Tilney Smith & Williamson has appointed Adrian Lowcock as its Investment Communications Director. Lowcock previously worked as Willis Owen’s Head of Personal Investing. He was formerly an Investment Director at Architas, Head of Investing at AXA Wealth and a Senior Research Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.  

In further news...Sally Macdonald has taken a Non-Executive Director role with Tilney Smith & Williamson’s Authorised Corporate Director (ACD) and fund administration business. Macdonald, who was head of Asian equities at Marlborough Fund Managers at the point of her departure last November, will take a seat on the business’ investment committee, playing a role in bolstering governance. 

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