Blog Img

Financial Services Newsletter - Friday 30th September 2022

Back to Blogs

Financial Services News

True Bearing, part of the Amber River group, is in expansion mode. In the last nine months, True Bearing has acquired seven small, but high-quality north-west IFA firms. These firms are based in locations across the North West and beyond, including Radcliffe, Bowden, Sale, Preston, Cockermouth, Stoke and Macclesfield. With these acquisitions, True Bearing has hit an exciting milestone; one billion pounds of assets under management (AUM) on behalf of their clients.

​St James’s Place (SJP) plans to merge four of its UK equity income strategies into a single fund with more than £4bn in assets under management. The wealth manager will combine its Allshare Income, Equity Income,UK Income and UK and International Income portfolios into the new fund.

Jupiter Fund Management’s incoming CEO is to cut 80 roles in the battle to turn around the struggling asset manager. It is understood that Matthew Beesley, who is replacing Andrew Formicaas CEO on 1 October, has initiated a formal consultation with Jupiter’s staff that will lead to identifying which roles will be at risk of redundancy and a reduction in personnel. This is the result of a review of the fund firm’s operating model, in which it was deemed that significant cost savings needed to be made. 

​In April, it was reported that some Partners at St James’s Place (SJP) had been using the services of a commission-paying lead generation company, which paid students £10 per hour to cold-call Lawyers. Female callers had to use the alias Sarah and were told to lie about where they obtained leads’ contact details. They were told the service they were providing was ‘covert’ and they were never given an employment contract. An investigation has since found that one of SJP’s largest and most-well-known partner firms had shared directorship with a cold-calling lead generator, a link that Partners were not explicitly informed about but that SJP head office was aware of.

Evelyn Partners has signed terms to move into a new Glasgow office as it gears up for Scottish expansion. The group, which has £52.7bn in assets under management, will take 30,000 sq ft of space at 177 Bothwell Street. This will be Evelyn’s second-largest office after its new headquarters in Gresham Street, London.

Abrdn is planning to return around £500m to disgruntled investors. The payment is likely to be made before the year is out and could come in the form of a special dividend, a report says. It will be funded by the sale of stakes in other companies, including the recent disposal of a £262m interest in HDFC Life Insurance in India. This came after Abrdnsold a £264m stake in Phoenix Group at the start of the year. 

Revenue at Mattioli Woods rose by 72.8% in the year to the end of May following a series of significant acquisitions. In its full-year results, the wealth and asset manager reported revenue of £108.2m, up from £56.6m for the year prior. The completion of nine acquisitions over the last two years accounted for £46.1m of the rise, compared with £6m in 2021.

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian has moved into Private Equity in partnership with former Carlyle Group Partner Jay Sammons. Their company, Skky Partners, will invest in sectors such as consumer products, hospitality, luxury, e-commerce and media. Kardashian and Sammons will be Co-Founders and Managing Partners of the firm, while Kris Jenner, Kardashian’s mother and Manager, will also be a Partner.

​When Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) announced plans for a major expansion of its fund management operations earlier this year, the investor response was somewhat sceptical. After a raft of experienced hires in recent months, the UK’s biggest investment platform is launching 19 new funds that it will run itself – and market to its pool of more than 1.7m customers – over the next two years.

Chorley-based IFA True Bearing, part of the Amber River group, has revealed that it hit £1bn on behalf of their clients as the firm continues its acquisition spree. In the last nine months, True Bearing purchased seven IFAs based in locations across the North West and beyond, including Radcliffe, Bowden, Sale, Preston, Cockermouth, Stoke and Macclesfield.  The firm said it was also in talks with several other North West IFAs. "With these further acquisitions in the pipeline, we hope to pass the 10m turnover mark," it said. 

Mergers & Acquisitions

Private equity-backed Amber River Group has bought Leeds-based Leodis Wealth Limited for an undisclosed sum. Based in Leeds, Leodis was founded in 1988 as the asset management arm of the Leeds law firm Lupton Fawcett. Now independent, it is led by Chief Executive Simon Cocking, who joined the firm’s board in 2013. Leodis specialises in portfolio management, tax planning and financial planning for individuals.

​The Royal Bank of Canada has completed its acquisition of Brewin Dolphin. RBC Wealth Management has bought the wealth management firm for 515p a share, for a total of £1.6bn. Brewin Dolphin will now operate as RBC Brewin Dolphin. Robin Beer will remain Chief Executive of the firm.

Evelyn Partners has acquired London-based advice firm, Arena Wealth. Arena specialises in sports and entertainment professionals, as well as entrepreneurs. The acquisition will see Arena transfer £90m of assets under management (AUM) to Evelyn. Arena Portfolio Manager Ashley Thompson will join Evelyn’s Nottingham office.

​Radiant Financial Group has acquired three IFA businesses running a total of £325m in assets. The consolidator has purchased Barnstaple-based Irvine Financial Services, Oldham-based Landmark Financial Planning, and Andrew Gibbs IFA based in Henley-in-Arden. Irvine Financial Services has £136m in assets under administration (AUA), three advisers and five other staff members. Landmark has £98m in AUA, three advisers and three other staff members, while Andrew Gibbs adds £91m in AUA.

Kingswood Holdings has announced that it is looking to buy a further eight wealth firms in the UK & Ireland as it forges ahead with an acquisition spree. The company said its current pipeline of purchases would add an estimated £8.7m profit and £1.9bn of assets by the end of this financial year. The wealth manager has already completed six IFA acquisitions so far in 2022 adding £2.8m in annual operating profit and £900m in AUM.  

​Platform business Parmenion has bought Midlands-based discretionary fund manager (DFM) Evidence Based Investing (EBI). EBI administers £1.9bn across 19 platforms. The deal is Parmenion’s first ever acquisition of another wealth manager and marks a big strategic move following its private equity takeover by Preservation Capital Partners for £102m last year. 

Solomon Capital, backed by Private Equity firm JC Flowers, has acquired national IFA Gale and Phillipson. The deal, for an undisclosed amount, will see Solomon take full ownership of Gale and Phillipson and CEO David Carr joining Solomon’s executive team.

Movers & Shakers

​Grant Hughes has joined Schroders Personal Wealth to head up their workplace advice proposition. Grant's has previously been Head of Financial Planning at Mercer and Managing Director at Legal and General.

St James’s Place (SJP) Investment Director Rob Gardner has left his role to set up a new business focused on the environment. Tom Beal, currently Chief Investment Officer at SJP, will take over Gardner’s position. He will also be appointed to SJP’s executive board, having worked for the company for 14 years. 

M&G has appointed Andrea Rossi, the former Chief Executive of Axa Investment Managers, as its new CEO. Rossi previously led Axa’s Italian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern operations and was CEO of the company’s investment management arm between 2013 and December 2019. 

Pimfa has appointed a Financial Planner with half a century of industry experience to its board. Ray Tuffield, Founder and Managing Partner of Courtney Havers, will bring around 50 years of experience in financial services to the trade body.

​LGT Wealth Management has appointed three senior wealth management professionals as it gears up for its Scotland push. Henry Peterkin joins LGT Wealth as a Wealth Manager after almost 25 years at Barclays Wealth, where he advised the firm’s high-net-worth clients. Meanwhile, James McFarlane joins as an Investment Manager from 7IM, where he worked as an Associate Director. Finally, Jennifer Watson joins the firm as a Business Director from a four-year stint at Scottish Pension specialist @sipp, where she worked most formerly as a Business Development Manager, where she focused on SIPPs and SSAS’s.

Andy Bell has been told by the FCA he needs to give up his AJ Bell board seat, while Helena Morrissey is to stand down as Chair of the business. It was announced on 16 June that Michael Summersgill would replace Bell as CEO on 1 October. Bell, who had led the business since he co-founded it in 1995, intended to remain on the board as a Non-Executive Director and Deputy Chair. 

Evelyn Partners has hired adviser Sarah Crowley as a Financial Planning Director in its Birmingham office. Crowley joins the firm from IEP Financial where she worked as an Independent Financial Adviser for the last four years. Kjersti Wiklund, veteran tech and Telecom Executive, was also recently appointed to its board in a non-executive position. 

Evelyn Partners has made another hire to expand its London office, with the appointment of Attivo’s Michael Vaughan as a Financial Planner. Vaughan joins the firm’s London office on Gresham Street, where he will drive the financial planning team’s growth. Vaughan joined Attivo in 2019 as a Relationship Manager, before being promoted to his most recent role as Chartered Financial Planner.

In further news, Evelyn Partners has hired Barclays stalwart Paul Fidoe as Business Development Director. Fidoe joins after a 22-year run with Barclays, where he was most formerly the Regional Business Development Manager at Barclays Wealth & Investment Management.

More from Evelyn Partners, who is expanding its presence in the Northeast, as financial planning team Scholes & Brown joins its Newcastle office. Scholes & Brown Directors Philip Brown and Bradley Thompson, as well as four other Financial Planners, will join the office, led by Managing Partner David Smith.

​Brewin Dolphin has appointed Richard Annis as Head of its Leeds office, replacing Michael Craven, who is retiring next month. Craven had led the Yorkshire branch since 2007 after first joining the wealth firm in 1990 as a Trainee Investment Manager. Annis has worked at Brewin’s Leeds office since 1993, when he joined as a Graduate Trainee and worked his way up to Senior Investment Manager.

Oberon Investments has hired Ian Marsden to join its investment management team. Marsden joins from investment manager Redmayne Bentley, where he worked as Investment Manager.

Tyndall Investment Management has appointed a new Head of Distribution. Theresa Russell will take on this role to drive the firm’s development of its retail funds while growing its partnerships franchise with Financial Advisers. Russell recently left her previous role as Head of Sales and Marketing at CG Asset Management where she spent just shy of three years.

Redmayne Bentley has hired Albert E Sharp’s Alastair Power as Investment Research Manager at the wealth firm’s Leeds office. His appointment follows the exit of James Rowbury, who left Redmayne Bentley for rival Brooks Macdonald in May. Power joined Stratford-upon-Avon-based Albert E Sharp in 2016 after gaining an economics and finance degree from Exeter University. 

Oldfield Partners (OP) has added research guru Deb Clarke and leading Investment Management Executive Robin Hindle Fisher to its board. The pair join the executive team within the firm’s UK operating subsidiary, Oldfield & Co (London) as Non-Executive Directors. Clarke is the former Global Head of Investment Research at Mercer. Hindle Fisher is an Executive Coach and chairs Big Society Capital. He was most recently Deputy Chair and a Non-Executive Director of Ruffer, having previously been the Head of DWS’s UK institutional business and Chief Executive of Phillips & Drew Fund Management.

​Church House Investments has hired a veteran Wealth Manager from Brown Shipley. Rob Hunter joins the London and Dorset-based firm in the newly created role of Client Director, with responsibility for private clients in the north of England and Scotland.

Progeny has appointed former KPMG Corporate Finance Director Stewart Cape as it steps up its acquisition push. Cape joins Progeny in the newly-created role of Head of Corporate Development, where he will be responsible for driving the wealth manager’s growth, supporting acquisition activity. Cape has worked at KPMG for over a decade, where he headed the financial service’s M&A practice for their Northern corporate finance business.

Small-cap veteran Harry Nimmo is to retire from Abrdn after 37 years. He will step down at the end of the year. Nimmo joined Standard Life in 1985 and created the smaller companies team in 1993. He is currently Manager of the Abrdn (AAM) UK Smaller Companies, UK Smaller Companies and UK Opportunities Equity strategies. 

Close Brothers Asset Management (CBAM) has appointed two new investment hires to expand its presence across the Midlands. Sally-Ann Gallier joins from Rathbones, where she was an Investment Manager for 14 years. Before that, she worked at Barclays Wealth. Phil Mountford joins after eight-and-a-half years at Investec Wealth, where he was most recently an Associate Investment Director in the firm’s Birmingham office.

All information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from Lancashire Business View, Citywire Wealth Manager, Professional Adviser and International Adviser.