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Financial Services Newsletter Friday 2nd June 2023

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Financial Services News

Sparrow Sandbox is hosting an online workshop, focussed on building SMART client objectives from the information in the fact find and file. This has been accredited by CISI with 1.25 hours of endorsed CPD for those trying to get their 35 hours! In this Sparrow Solutions Sandbox Session, they'll be looking at how you can find and use the info from the fact find to build personalised, SMART objectives that are tailored to the client. It's going to be an online workshop, with discussions and practical exercises to help bring it to life and really cement your learning, ready for when you're back at your desk! Access more information here. (Sparrow Sandbox, Caroline Stuart)

​Wren Sterling has unveiled a new brand for the national independent financial planning business. This move comes eight years after Wren Sterling was founded following a management buyout by Towergate Insurance. In that time, it has doubled its assets under management to £6.5bn and expanded to nine locations across the UK. Wren Sterling's Chief Executive Officer James Twining explained that the firm’s latest investors, Lightyear Capital “recognised this opportunity” and helped to provide the financial resources to execute this move. (Darius McQuaid, 24/5/2023, Money Marketing, 'Wren Sterling rebrands to support next phase of growth')

​Octopus Group has launched Octopus Money which will offer money coaching and financial advice to millions of people across the UK, regardless of how much they earn or are able to invest. Octopus Group will invest £50m to assist Octopus Money and to help it grow. Additionally, Octopus Money will build on both Octopus MoneyCoach and Octopus Wealth. (Darius McQuaid, 24/5/2023, Money Marketing, 'Octopus Money launches which offers advice to all clients')

​Niche Independent Financial Advisers has stopped trading as of this month, according to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), and undergoing investigation into connections it may have with British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) claims. The Newport-based firm was flagged as ‘under investigation' by the lifeboat fund, along with a note confirming the IFA stopped trading this month. Despite this, the Financial Conduct Authority register still shows the firm as actively trading. (Hope William-Smith, 30/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Newport firm Niche IFA stops trading as FSCS begins British Steel probe')

​Of the adviser hires made by consolidator Kingswood in 2022, a total 40% were women, latest results show. Full year results for the transatlantic firm published, state it wanted to "build a business more representative of society". "Good progress has been made to address diversity imbalances across the organisation," it added. "40% of UK adviser hires in 2022 were female." (Hope William-Smith, 24/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'The consolidator where 40% of adviser hires in 2022 were women')

​Three quarters (76%) of Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) believe there are not enough advisers entering the industry to cope with future demand. The study was conducted by market research company Opinium, which surveyed 218 Financial Advisers in March. Opinium Head of Financial Services Alexa Nightingale called for incentives to be put in place to attract the next generation to join the advice sector. (Sahar Nazir, 22/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Majority of IFAs fear shortage of new talent to cope with demand')

​The former Chief Executive of infamous mini-bond provider London Capital & Finance (LCF) has received a ten-month jail sentence, suspended for two years. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) confirmed Michael Thomson breached a restraint order imposed on his bank account after it froze his assets as part of its wider investigation into suspected money laundering and fraud at LCF. The SFO said Thompson hid £40,000 from a tax rebate and a fake insurance claim and £55,000 for repair work which was never completed despite its restraint order. (Hope William-Smith, 17/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Former London Capital & Finance CEO receives ten month sentence')

​Adults in Greater London are most likely to seek financial advice while those from the Midlands are least likely, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has found. The research was conducted by FSCS, which released the third series of consumer research papers on consumer trends, attitudes and behaviours towards financial products and the protection that it offers. It was found that adults with savings, investments or a mortgage living in Greater London had been the most likely to seek financial advice in the last five years - with almost half (49%) of them saying they did so. (Sahar Nazir, 16/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Greater London leads in adults seeking advice, Midlands lag behind')

National IFA Continuum has launched a succession solution for its partnership firms that manages the entire sale process. It said the ‘My Continuum Succession' solution would allow advisers within the Continuum partnership that were looking to grow their business to buy the client book of another retiring adviser within the partnership. It said the whole of the sale process would be managed by the partnership including legal assistance, finance and registration.(Jenna Brown, 10/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Continuum launches succession solution for partnership members')

Assets under influence at Continuum have hit a record £1.72bn after it recorded 13% year-on-year growth between January and March this year. The Plymouth-based national has now marked its 35th consecutive quarter, or almost nine years, of growth in assets. The first quarter of 2023 saw an 8% rise in ongoing recurring income with its in-house discretionary model portfolio service a strong contributor. (Hope William-Smith, 5/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Continuum hits £1.72bn in assets after 9 years of quarterly growth')

​Advisers will not be affected by any potential staff cuts that will come as part of the restructuring of Manchester advice firm OpenMoney. The firm announced it was sent to "enter a period of significant restructuring" on the back of it having been acquired last year by entrepreneurs Will Mallard and Patrick Leahy. The Financial Conduct Authority has yet to approve any restructuring proposals, which include plans for its financial planning arm to be extended by both acquisitions and organic growth. (Hope William-Smith, 9/5/2023, 'Advisers not affected in OpenMoney restructure and redundancy plans')

​Rathbones has reported an increase of 1.1% in its total funds under management and administration for the first quarter of 2023. A trading notice published showed the increase totalled £60.9bn for its final set of results before it combines with Investec W&I UK. Investec purchased Rathbones in a £839m deal back in April, though the trading period update covers the three months prior the deal, which Rathbones Chief Executive Paul Stockton said "represents a significant opportunity in our sector to become the UK's leading discretionary wealth manager". (Eve Maddock-Jones, 4/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Rathbones reports minor assets boost from before Investec merger')

Lumin Wealth is opening a new office in Cambridge, adding to its existing operations in London and St Albans. The financial planning firm said the move was "a natural expansion" from its first two bases and was in line with its plans for expansion. The expansion comes two years on from Swiss independent financial services VZGroup acquiring a majority stake in Lumin, which was founded in 2010. (Hope William-Smith, 4/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Lumin Wealth expands its financial planning services into Cambridge')

Progeny is to again host a summer school programme for 16 to 18-year-olds which gives budding professionals an insight into financial planning. The Leeds-based professional services company said last year's summer school was such a success it was repeating the programme for 2023. The five-day schedule, running from 7 to 11 August and open to students from Leeds and the surrounding area - involves interactive sessions with experts within Progeny's various departments involved in financial planning. (Jenna Brown, 3/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Progeny to repeat summer school for budding advisers')

The level of long-term mergers and acquisitions activity in the UK wealth management sector is set to increase significantly as firms pursue scale ups and the digitalisation of their delivery models. According to behavioural finance fintech firm Oxford Risk, the combined value of assets under management of UK wealth managers acquired in 2022 was £137bn, compared to £87bn for those acquired in 2021. The wealth management sector is facing "huge disruption" from the growth of potential new customers to new delivery models and increased regulation, the firm said. (Valeria Martinez, 2/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'M&A activity in wealth management sector set for significant rise')

Mergers & Acquisitions

​Titan Wealth Holdings has entered into a share purchase agreement to buy Ravenscroft’s UK-based investment management business, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. The acquisition takes Titan Wealth’s AUM to £9.4bn. It also reinforces the group’s current capabilities and strengthens its client to custody solutions and services. (Lois Vallely, 17/5/2023, Money Marketing, 'Titan Wealth buys UK investment management business Ravenscroft')

​Financial planning and accountancy firm Old Mill has acquired self-invested personal pension and commercial property specialist Quro Financial Solutions. The acquisition is the second for Old Mill, which bought Brook Financial in a deal 12 months ago. The firm is aiming to both double the size of its business by 2026 and become the fastest growing firm in the South West. (Hope William-Smith, 22/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Old Mill inks deal to acquire Bristol-based Quro Financial Solutions')

​Canada Life has taken another step towards withdrawing from the UK individual protection market through the sale of its book of clients to Countrywide Assured. First announced in November last year, the sale has now been agreed between the two parties and will see approximately 47,000 customer policies transfer to Countrywide Assurance, subject to the completion of a court-approved Part VII transfer. Customer policies are expected to transfer to Countrywide in 2024 and Canada Life stated it will continue to "to support customers, honouring existing contractual obligations, and paying claims in line with the usual processes" in the interim. (John Brazier, 16/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Canada Life sells protection book to Countrywide Assurance')

Perspective Financial Group (Perspective) has sealed four more acquisition deals bringing its total for the year to eight and adding a total of £240m in assets under management (AUM). The group bought Tees Valley Asset Management, P Bennett & Associates, Oak Financial Management (MCR) and Marlborough Place, it confirmed. It said the acquisitions created a new office location for the group in Belfast - its first in Northern Ireland and brought its total to 27 offices. (Jenna Brown, 10/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Perspective acquires four advice businesses adding £240m in AUM')

​Fairstone has acquired Essex-based Sacre Associates with the transaction adding £450m in assets under management (AUM) to the consolidator's books. Sacre Associates is a whole of market advice firm in Essex which has been in operation for almost forty years. Along with the £450m in AUM, the deal sees 12 advisers, 19 support staff and 1,200 clients join Fairstone. The consolidator and national wealth manager said the deal was part of its expansion into the home counties. (Jenna Brown, 10/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Fairstone acquires Essex-based Sacre adding £450m in AUM')

Succession Wealth has acquired Edinburgh-based advice firm Spence & Spence which manages about £170m in assets. The deal for the firm is Succession's second under Aviva ownership and follows its purchase of Yorkshire firm G+E Wealth Management last October. Spence & Spence was founded in 1994 and offers pensions and retirement planning, protection, investments and mortgages among other services. (Hope William-Smith, 9/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Succession buys Scottish firm Spence & Spence with £170m assets')


​Schroders Personal Wealth (SPW) has hired Justin Blower as Regional Director for the South of England and South Wales. Prior to joining SPW, Blower was Sales Director at M&G Wealth where he led the platform distribution teams for more than seven years. He also worked at Ascentric and AXA. (Jenna Brown, 25/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Schroders Personal Wealth hires regional director from M&G')

In further news...Schroders has appointed Cazenove Capital Chief Executive (CEO) Mary-Anne Daly to the role of Global Head of Wealth Management. Daly will work both roles, with her new position seeing her take charge of wealth management operations in the Channel Islands, Switzerland, and Singapore. Daly will chair the boards of Schroders Channel Islands, Schroders Bank AG, and Schroders Asia. Meanwhile, Peter Hall has been appointed Chair of Schroders. He will continue to oversee the firm’s global wealth strategy as well, and also retain his positions as Chair of both the Cazenove Capital and Benchmark Capital boards. (Hope William-Smith, 15/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Schroders announces changes in its wealth management team')

Progeny has appointed Sam Murton as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO). The appointment is part of a restructure to strengthen the position of the business in the UK market and prepare it for future international growth. Murton has been working with Progeny as a Consultant since 2022. (Lois Vallely, 25/5/2023, Money Marketing, 'Progeny appoints new chief operating officer to prepare for expansion')

In further news...Progeny has appointed Freya Robertson as Chief of Staff to its Chief Executive Neil Moles. Robertson first joined Progeny four years ago as an Executive Assistant but will now oversee governance and management information at the firm and be involved with the management of high-profile projects. She has previously held roles at Grant Thornton, John Lewis and environmental consultancy firm Beyondly. (Hope William-Smth, 11/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Progeny appoints chief of staff to its CEO')

Sesame Bankhall Group (SBG) has appointed Aviva Senior Executive Paul Wilson as Chief Operating Officer. Wilson, who is also currently a Non-Executive Director of SBG’s board, will officially start his new role on 3 July. Wilson has over 30 years’ financial services experience and has held a series of wide-ranging senior executive positions. (Momodou Musa Touray, 23/5/2023, Money Marketing, 'Sesame Bankhall Group hires COO from Aviva')

​Investec Wealth & Investment has announced the appointment of Marc Wright as Head of Entrepreneurs within its private office. The international bank and wealth manager said this hire is part of its effort to grow the team of specialists looking after high net worth clients within its private office arm. Wright has over 12 years of experience within investment management and most recently prior to Investec was Ultra-High Net Worth (UHNW) Senior Private Banker, where he led the Midlands region for Barclays Private Bank. (Darius McQuaid, 15/5/2023, Money Marketing, 'Investec hires head of entrepreneurs')

Canada Life has hired Tom Evans as its Managing Director (MD) of retirement. The insurance provider appointed Evans to the position of interim MD of retirement last autumn after working as MD of home finance for over four years. He has spent a total of nine years at Canada Life and will continue reporting to Chief Executive Lindsey Rix. (Sahar Nazir, 31/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Canada Life hires new managing director of retirement')

​Novia Financial has expanded the role of its Chief Technology and Operations Officer Eden Scrivenger by merging its platform operations and technology teams. The merger comes after the adviser-focused platform business looks to improve its service for advisers and clients. Newly appointed Operations Director Julie Gawthorpe has also joined from pensions administration provider Diligenta and will report to Scrivenger. (Sahar Nazir, 31/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Novia merges operations and technology teams')

​Wealth manager and advice firm consolidator Verso Wealth Management has appointed Alan Mathewson as its next Chief Executive (CEO). He joins from Bridgepoint where he was Senior Adviser and brings more than 30 years’ financial services experience to the role. He is the former CEO of Brown Shipley and spent two decades at Santander including time as its Managing Director of Wealth Management. (Hope William-Smith, 30/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Alan Mathewson has been appointed as CEO at Verso Wealth Management')

​Former M&G Recruitment and Acquisition Director Tim Clark has been appointed as ValidPath Succession Director. In addition to his work at M&G, Clark has held roles with Hartley Recruitment, Benchmark Capital, Lighthouse Financial Advice and Tenet. (Sahar Nazir, 24/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'ValidPath appoints Tim Clark to lead succession work')

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) has appointed Tom Perks as President of its Birmingham branch committee. Perks will take over from Mark Rogers and will be responsible for delivering a financial education service across Birmingham and building on the firm’s relationships with local schools and universities. He has held positions at Rathbones and Evelyn Partners. He joined Quilter Cheviot in 2017, the same year he joined the Birmingham branch as a committee member.(Sahar Nazir, 245/2023, Professional Adviser, 'CISI names Birmingham branch president')

In further news...The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) has appointed James Swaby as the new President of its Cotswolds branch committee. Swaby has replaced Sandra Paul and will be responsible for developing the continuing professional development (CPD) programme with the branch. He is a Senior Investment Director at wealth manager Investec Wealth & Investment, responsible for overseeing a suite of strategies for private clients, trusts, and charities, including multi-asset fund portfolios and international direct equities. (Hope William-Smith, 23/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'CISI hires new Cotswolds branch president from Investec')

​Fintel published a trading update ahead of its annual general meeting confirming the event will mark Ken Davy’s departure as Chair. The parent company of SimplyBiz and Defaqto will be chaired by current independent Non-Executive Director Phil Smith, as previously announced. The move comes amid confirmation the business is “trading in line with board expectations” having increased its cash position in Q1 to reach £13.6m. (Hope William-Smith, 18/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Phil Smith replaces Ken Davy as Fintel chair')

​Harrison Boar has joined wealth manager Evelyn Partner from Fisher Investments, where he spent nine years as a Private Client Adviser. In his previous role, he was responsible for advising high net worth clients on a range of financial planning areas. (Sahar Nazir, 17/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Planner joins Evelyn Partners’ Chelmsford office')

In further news...Wealth manager Evelyn Partners has hired a new Financial Planner to strengthen its Birmingham team. The firm is working on building its presence in the West Midlands with the appointment of Chartered financial planner Nick Hathaway. Hathaway has joined from Jerroms Financial Planning where he has worked since 2018 and specialised in retirement planning and NHS pension work. He began his career in financial services in investment management with finance experts EFG Harris Allday, before moving to financial planning. (Sahar Nazir, 15/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Evelyn Partners bolsters West Midlands team')

Wealth manager Evelyn Partners has appointed Ciara Oliver as a new Financial Planner in its London office. Oliver joins from investment manager Killik & Co, where she had worked as a Financial Planner since August 2022. She began her career at UBS Wealth Management and has nearly a decade of experience working with high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients. Oliver’s expertise lies in lifetime cashflow planning, tax-efficient investing, financial protection, pensions, retirement planning and succession planning. (Sahar Nazir, 12/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Evelyn Partners boosts London team with new hire')

Evelyn Partners has appointed two new Financial Planners to help strengthen its Bristol team. The wealth manager has hired Adam Deacon as Associate Director and Ben Glynn as an Associate Financial Planner. Glynn was previously a Financial Adviser at Hargreaves Lansdown in Bristol where he advised clients on a broad range of financial planning, investment, and pension related requirements. Deacon has more than ten years of financial planning experience from Fidelius Group and Azets Financial Planning where he was a Senior Financial Planner. (Sahar Nazir, 4/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Evelyn Partners bolsters Bristol team with two hires')

​Melissa Collett is exiting her role as Executive Director for professional standards at the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) after spending over five years at the business. Collett will leave office later this month to pursue other opportunities in the insurance sector whilst developing her non-executive portfolio. CII will allocate her responsibilities to colleagues in the short term, with longer-term plans currently in development. She joined CII in the newly created role of Professional Standards Director in 2017 and was responsible for steering its strategic goals.(Sahar Nazir, 16/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'CII professional standards director to exit')

National IFA Continuum has appointed Chartered Financial Adviser Stuart Anthony to its London division to help “build long-lasting relationships” with clients. Anthony has joined Continuum from Alexander House Financial Services where he worked as an Independent Financial Planner for a total of seven years. (Sahar Nazir, 15/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Chartered financial adviser joins Continuum')

Lucy Bristow has been appointed by Novia as it’s first Chief Customer Officer. Bristow joined Novia from Wealthtime 14 months ago and is now set to oversee customer experience across both brands. Bristow is the former Head of Customer Services at Ascentric and also spent one year as Managing Director of Embark. (Hope William-Smith, 11/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Novia appoints first chief customer officer')

The Paraplanner Club has appointed Sam Patterson as its new Director and Head of Mentoring as it looks to “ensure the programme’s continued growth and success”. The free mentoring scheme for Paraplanners was co-founded by Chloe Philips and Sian Davies Cole in 2020, with Patterson’s appointment coming on the back of Philips’ departure. Patterson has over ten years of experience as a Financial Planner, with a particular focus on paraplanning. He previously held roles at Equilibrium Financial Planning and Moore Stephens Financial Services. (Sahar Nazir, 10/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'The Paraplanner Club names head of mentoring')

​Professional Independent Wealth Advice (PIWA) has named Peter Loughridge as joint Chief Executive (CEO) alongside founder Neil Messenger. Loughridge has held senior positions across financial services, including as a Director at Abrdn's advice operation 1825 and previously being a Partner at Grant Thornton. Additionally, Sarah Covey, also ex-Abrdn and Grant Thornton, will join PIWA as Chief Operating Officer. (Jenna Brown, 10/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Messenger's PIWA hires Peter Loughridge as joint chief executive')

Nucleus Financial has recruited Heather Hopkins to chair its advisory board. Hopkins, who is Managing Director and Founder of specialist consultancy NextWealth, is a well-known data and research expert, specialising in the UK financial adviser and retail wealth management markets, Nucleus said. (Jenna Brown, 9/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Nucleus names Heather Hopkins as advisory board chair')

​Chartered Financial Planner Tim Webb has been appointed to lead Lumin Wealth’s newly opened Cambridge office. Webb was formerly a self-employed Adviser with True Potential and has also held roles at Efficient Portfolios and PSF Accounting. (Hope William-Smith, 4/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'Lumin Wealth appoints Tim Webb to lead new Cambridge office')

CashCalc Founder Ray Adams has departed from his business after nearly ten years. The Chartered Financial Planner founded the company in 2014 to provide an online suite of financial planning tools for advisers. Adams has stepped down from the business exactly two years after its acquisition by fund data leader FE fundinfo. (Sahar Nazir, 2/5/2023, Professional Adviser, 'CashCalc founder Ray Adams exits business')

For an informal chat on how IDEX Consulting can support your business needs and professional career goals, please contact Tony Bates, Managing Director on 07534 507 007 or

All information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from Money Marketing and Professional Adviser.