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Financial Services Newsletter - Friday 6th January 2023

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Financial Services News

​Atomos has started to move advisers’ smaller clients to its managed portfolio service (MPS). Smaller clients will typically possess below £500,000 in assets, have less bespoke requirements, and similar objectives, including longer-term growth.(Caroline Hug, 5/1/23, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Atomos shifts smaller clients to MPS')

​Mattioli Woods grew revenues by 10% in the first half of its financial year as fees from wealthier advice clients and private equity deals agreed by Maven Capital offset a dip in total group assets. In a trading update published this morning, the listed national advice and wealth management firm said its client assets dropped 2% to £14.6bn in the six months to 30 November 2022. (Charles Walmsley, 5/1/23, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Advice and private equity fees boost Mattioli Woods revenue to £55m')

​IFA consolidator Radiant Financial Group has launched a discretionary fund management (DFM) proposition fronted by former HSBC and Coutts heavyweight Minesh Gajjar. The new division, called Radiant Asset Management (RAM), has partnered with SEI Investments to create a suite of seven model portfolios. (Dylan Lobo, 20/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Ex-HSBC and Coutts heavyweight launches DFM arm for Radiant')

Brewin Dolphin Chief Executive Robin Beer will lead RBC’s Channel Islands wealth management arm in addition to RBC Brewin Dolphin, before the two businesses start merging in the first half of 2023. Royal Bank of Canada acquired Brewin Dolphin in September for £1.6bn, at which point the latter was renamed RBC Brewin Dolphin. Over the coming months, Brewin will be integrated with RBC’s existing Wealth Management International unit, which has offices in London, Jersey and Guernsey.(Caroline Hug, 14/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Beer named RBC Wealth boss as Brewin rebrands')

Transact’s net flows fell by 11%, their first substantial drop for many years, as the platform took a hit from inflation and market falls in 2022. For the 12 months ending 30 September, Transact’s net flows were £4.4bn, down from £5bn in the previous year. This knocked its assets under management to £50.1bn, a fall of just under 4%. (Jack Gilbert, 14/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Transact’s net flows down £550m as inflation and markets bite in 2022')

Martin Gilbert is changing the active equity units of AssetCo to the River & Mercantile brand (R&M). The changes are set to take place next year, and will see R&M merge its operating structure with SVM Asset Management, Saracen Fund Managers and Revera Asset Management. (John Schaffer, 6/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Martin Gilbert rebrands four firms to River & Mercantile')

Platform software giant FNZ has made hundreds of roles redundant. It is understood that about 400 staff have been laid off or redeployed within the business, across junior and senior roles. FNZ has about 6,000 employees, with offices across the world. It has a large base in Edinburgh, close to its big UK platform clients’ headquarters. (Chloe Meley, 2/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'FNZ lays off hundreds of employees')

​The FCA has fined Pembrokeshire Mortgage Centre Limited £2.4m for the unsuitable pension transfer advice it gave to British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) members. The firm, which trades as County Financial Consultants, advised nearly 420 consumers on whether to transfer out of their defined benefit (DB) pensions, with 93% of those consumers being advised to transfer.(Nicola Blackburn, 2/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'FCA fines Pembrokeshire advice firm £2.4m over British Steel DB transfers')

Mergers & Acquisitions

​Schroders-owned Benchmark Capital is acquiring a 51% stake in Oculus Wealth Management, subject to regulatory approval. Based in Harrogate, Oculus is a boutique advice network representing 26 firms and 36 Advisers. The acquisition will allow Benchmark to add services which help Advisers set up independent practices. (Christopher Johnson, 12/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Exclusive: Schroders-owned Benchmark buys Oculus Wealth')

Platform Nucleus is closing in on its deal to acquire listed Sipp provider Curtis Banks. In a market statement released this morning, Curtis Banks said Nucleus has ‘completed its due diligence and the parties are close to agreeing transaction documentation’. The date by which Nucleus must make an offer has been extended from today to 9 January, the market statement said.(Jack Gilbert, 23/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Nucleus closes in on Curtis Banks takeover')

​Kingswood has bought Berkshire-based advice firm Barry Fleming & Partners for £6.2m, subject to regulatory approval. The purchase price will be settled over two years, with £3.1m paid on completion and the remaining balance paid subject to performance targets. (John Schaffer, 15/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Kingswood buys Berkshire IFA for £6.2m')

Brighton and Hove-based Wealth Manager Skerritts Group has acquired £62m AUM Kent Financial Planner Equinox Wealth. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, adds to Skerrits four acquisitions in 2022. Skerritts said the acquisition of Equinox would help extend its presence in Kent and boost its plans to reach more of the South Coast. Skerrits acquisition strategy is funded by £55m in investment from private equity firm Sovereign Capital Partners (Financial Planning Today Reporter, 6/1/23, Financial Planning Today, 'Skerritts buys £62m AUM Kent Financial Planner')

Movers & Shakers

​M&G is set to make a big push into thematics after recruiting two technology heavyweights. Jeffrey Lin and Thomas Lee join from US-based TCW Group, where they spent 16 and eight years respectively. Lin will take on the role of Head of Thematic Equities, while Lee joins the firm as its Deputy Head of Thematic Equities, with both continuing to operate from their US bases. (Christopher Johnson, 5/1/23, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'M&G hires tech duo to lead thematics team')

First Sentier Investors (FSI) has appointed Jane Daniel as Chief Risk Officer. Daniel joins from Aegon, where she worked as Global Chief Risk and Compliance Officer. (Caroline Hug, 5/1/23, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'First Sentier poaches Aegon global chief risk officer')

​Chief Executive of Edinburgh-based boutique Charlotte Square Investment Managers (CSIM), William Forsyth, has stepped down from his role. Former Seven Investment Management (7IM) Sales Boss Robert Darling has taken over the CEO position, which Forsyth had held after he set up the boutique following a 10-year stint as an Investment Director at Rathbones. Forsyth will remain with the group as Executive Chairman and head of the investment team. Darling, CSIM’s Operations Director, has been promoted to the top job. (Caroline Hug, 4/1/23, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Excl: Charlotte Square names ex-7IM sales boss CEO as founder steps back')

​Evelyn Partners has appointed Jonathan Balcombe as a Partner focused on tax advice for private equity-backed companies. Balcombe joins the business tax team from EY, where he spent more than 18 years, most recently at partner level providing advice and support to private equity-backed and fast-growth companies. (Christopher Johnson, 3/1/23, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Evelyn Partners bolsters tax team with partner hire')

​Abrdn’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Stephanie Bruce is to leave the asset manager, as the group continues to face a challenging period. Bruce, who has been CFO since June 2019 and also sits on the group’s board, will leave Abrdn next year. Bruce is one of only two women on Abrdn’s 13-strong executive team. Prior to joining the company, she was a Partner at PwC. (Jack Gilbert, 22/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Abrdn CFO Stephanie Bruce heads for the exit')

​Shane Bennett has joined Walker Crips as Head of Investment Strategy. According to a post on his LinkedIn page, Bennett has left his investment head post at Cathedral Financial Management for a Senior Investment Manager role at Walker Crips this month. (Dylan Lobo, 22/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Walker Crips hires Top 30 star as investment strategy head')

​Titan Wealth has made two senior appointments to its sales team, as it seeks to ‘accelerate’ its growth to meet medium-term targets. Mark Livesey, a former Partner and Business Development Director at LGT Vestra, has joined as Head of Sales, concentrating on distributing the firm’s services to clients. His appointment follows the hire of fellow LGT veteran Tom Macpherson as Head of Portfolio Management last month. Nick Hockney also joined the firm earlier this year as a Senior Sales Consultant, responsible for finding sales opportunities in the UK and leading international adviser business development. (Robin Amos, 21/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Titan Wealth appoints LGT veteran as sales head to ‘accelerate’ growth')

​Attivo has appointed Steven Pennington as Financial Planning Director. Pennington joins from WH Ireland, where he worked as Head of Wealth Planning. Pennington will focus on lifestyle financial planning. He will support a team of Financial Planners to grow the business’s client base and client base offering. (Caroline Hug, 19/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Attivo hires WH Ireland wealth planning boss')

Investec Wealth & Investment has appointed Dr Pela Strataki as head of research for its London-based team. Strataki joins from Architas where she spent more than four years, holding the roles of Investment Manager and Senior Investment Analyst. She managed the firm’s Liquid Alts Ucits fund-of-funds and deputy portfolio manager on a multi-asset range, which runs a combined €1.3bn (£870m) in assets. (Christopher Johnson, 19/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Investec Wealth hires Architas' Strataki as London research head')

Cazenove Capital has hired Oliver York as Portfolio Director for the North East region. York joins Cazenove after five years at UBS, where he was a Director. In this role, he advised business owners, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth clients on all aspects of wealth. (Caroline Hug, 16/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Cazenove Capital hires UBS director for North East push')

Julius Baer International (JBI) has appointed two Credit Suisse staff as senior appointments for its London office. Patrick Wilson will be a Senior Relationship Manager at JBI. He spent 16 years at Credit Suisse as a Managing Director, responsible for UK entrepreneurs and corporate executives. Ryan Perry joins JBI as a Relationship Manager, with more than 10 years of experience in wealth management. At Credit Suisse, Perry focused on portfolio management, advisory solutions and lending services for high- and ultra-high-net-worth clients. (Christopher Johnson, 13/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Julius Baer snaps up Credit Suisse duo for London office')

In further news...Julius Baer has hired Alexandra McInnes as its new Head of Guernsey. McInnes will be replacing Stephen Burt, who is retiring after 18 years with the firm. McInnes has almost 20 years of experience in the financial services and specialises in banking. She joins Julius Baer after a short eight-month stint at PraxisIFM, where she worked as Group Chief Operating and Risk Officer. (Caroline Hug, 5/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Julius Baer hires Guernsey head, as Burt retires after 18 years')

LGT Wealth Management (LGTWM) has appointed Sanjay Rijhsinghani as its Chief Investment Officer. On 1 January, Rijhsinghani will replace Jonathan Marriott, who is retiring after nine years at the company and 40 in the industry overall. Rijhsinghani is a Founding Partner of LGTWM and sits on the firm’s investment and investment risk committees. He joined the company’s board in 2016 and currently serves as Head of Portfolio Management, specialising in global investment mandates with multi-asset solutions. (Olivia Bybel, 6/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'LGT Wealth Management appoints new CIO')

BlackRock has appointed Abrdn Investment Director Samantha Brownlee to serve on its UK equity fund range. Brownlee has worked at Abrdn for the past 15 years, joining in 2008 as a graduate Business Analyst and most latterly serving as Investment Director. She will replace Fund Manager Nick Little, who is stepping down from his position to explore opportunities both within and outside the firm. (Caroline Hug, 6/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'BlackRock poaches Abrdn director for UK equity revamp')

Cazenove Capital has hired a Portfolio Director in Scotland, on the back of increased client demand in Aberdeen. Chris Arbuthnott will work closely with Bob Hair, Cazenove Regional Head of Scotland, to build the service for existing clients and develop relationships with business owners in the region. He has over 22 years’ experience in financial services, and was most recently a Director at Barclays Wealth for four years. Prior to that, he was a Director at HSBC Private Banking in Aberdeen for four years. (Christopher Johnson, 6/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Cazenove hires Barclays Wealth director for Scotland boost')

​Raymond James has hired Nathan Adam as a Financial Planner in its London CityPoint office, based near Moorgate. Adam joins after a five-year stint at Oakwood Asset Management, where he was a Financial Adviser. (John Schaffer, 5/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Raymond James adds adviser to City hub')

Close Brothers Asset Management (CBAM) has appointed two private client heavyweights from Abrdn as Investment Directors. Based in London, John Hair and Charles Insley will sit in CBAM’s bespoke investment management team. Hair was most recently Chief Investment Officer of Abrdn’s private client business for over six years. Insley, spent over nine years at Abrdn, where he was Head of International Private Clients for the asset manager. (Christopher Johnson, 5/12/22, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Close Brothers poaches Abrdn private client CIO')

Personal Finance Society (PFS) President Caroline Stuart has resigned from her role and her position on the society’s board. In a statement, Stuart said taking the role in September had been "the greatest honour" in her professional life. However, Stuart said the PFS' ongoing problems with the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) in recent weeks meant "pressure and stress has increased exponentially".(Hope Williams-Smith, 5/1/23, Professional Adviser, 'PFS president Caroline Stuart resigns; blasts CII 'hostile' and 'arrogant'')

All information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from Citywire Wealth Manager and Professional Adviser.