Blog Img

Financial Services Newsletter Friday 29th September 2023

Back to Blogs

Financial Services News

​Close Brothers Asset Management has opened a ‘bespoke’ investment office in Cheltenham after hiring a number of Senior Managers from Investec Wealth & Investment over the last 12 months. Located in The Quadrangle, at the junction of Imperial Square and the Promenade, the office will be shared between support staff and several Senior Investment Directors. These include former Investec Wealth investment Directors Ed Mawle, Charles Lawson, Charlotte Selby-Rickards, and Charlie Purves, who joined CBAM earlier this year. (Caroline Hug, 7/9/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Close opens ‘bespoke’ investment office after Investec wealth raid')

Financial Planner Life founder Sam Oakes is launching an independent academy, in partnership with NextGen, to be a “first point of call” for anybody thinking about joining the profession. The academy will focus on administration, mortgage and protection, paraplanning, and financial planning roles. It will be aimed at anyone who wishes to join the financial planning profession – from graduates to second careerists. (Lois Vallely, 26/9/2023, Money Marketing, 'Financial Planner Life launches independent adviser academy')

Tenet Group suffered a £36m drop in revenue last year, following a “quality drive” carried out by the network to weed out poor-performing firms. In its 2022 financial results, the business said revenue reduced to £121.4m, down from £157.4m in 2021. The group reported a loss before tax, depreciation, amortisation, interest and exceptional items of £2.8m. This compares with £3.5m profit for 2021. (Lois Vallely, 28/9/2023, Money Marketing, 'Tenet suffers revenue drop after network ‘quality drive’')

​Oberon Investments has won the mandate to run the £43m Margetts Tempus Growth Portfolio in place of Artemis, following news of Simon Edelsten’s retirement. The Tempus Growth Portfolio was managed by Edelsten alongside Artemis’Alex Illingworth from January 2021. The strategy has delivered a 0.6% loss in the last year, versus the 1% average gain in its Citywire Aggressive GBP sector. (Olivia Bybel, 28/9/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Artemis loses DFM mandate to Oberon after Edelsten retirement news')

​WH Ireland is set to cut a number of jobs as part of cost-cutting plan aimed at turning around its fortunes after a tough period for the business. In a results update covering the 12 months to the end of March 2023, the wealth firm’s revenue dropped 17% to £26.7m. Its underlying pre-tax loss for the year stood at £2m, reversing the £1.4m profit recorded in the previous year. (John Schaffer, 27/9/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'WH Ireland job cull looms in battle to break even')

Former Brooks Macdonald Investment Director Daniel Minett has teamed up with P1 investment services to launch a Discretionary Fund Manager (DFM). Five Horizons Wealth Management will operate under the P1 umbrella, using the firm’s regulatory, administrative and digital investment platform to build its infrastructure. Five Horizons will launch with five risk-rated portfolios available as growth, income, or responsible mandates. (Dylan Lobo, 4/9/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Ex-Brooks Macdonald investment director launches DFM')

​The Financial Conduct Authority has issued a compulsory liquidation order for Independently East Ltd (IEL) after it failed to disclose clients’ finances to the regulator. The IFA firm, which is based in Walton-On-Thames, Surrey, entered liquidation on the 11th of September following the FCA’s order. The Official Receiver has been appointed as liquidator to wind up IEL for the benefit of its creditors. (Momodou Musa Touray, 12/9/2023, Money Marketing, 'IFA firm liquidates after FCA order over missing clients’ finance')

A new financial planning practice targeted at high-net-worth clients across the UK has been launched by industry duo Amyr Rocha Lima and Ian Cooke. Strategic Wealth Partners will specialise in comprehensive financial planning, including tax minimisation, data-driven investment strategies, and retirement planning tailored to successful professionals over age 50 and those recently bereaved. Rocha Lima, Strategic Wealth Partners’ co-founder and Managing Director, said: “The Strategic Wealth Portal enables us to run the financial planning practice we envisioned, with the software and service our clients deserve". Co-founder Cooke added: “We would like to express our gratitude to Benchmark Capital for their assistance and support throughout our platform selection process". (Darius McQuaid, 25/9/2023, Money Marketing, 'Industry duo launch Strategic Wealth Partners to target high-net-worth clients')

An “innovative” Managed Portfolio Service (MPS) that aims to address both challenges and opportunities that come with market shifts has been made available to UK Financial Advisers. The MPS was launched by Clever Adviser Technology and Marlborough Investment Management and offers a range of hybrid and sustainability-focused portfolios. It has been named the Clever Marlborough MPS. (Darius McQuaid, 21/9/2023, Money Marketing, 'Clever Adviser Technology and Marlborough IM launch MPS')

Health insurer Bupa has launched a new proposition built around exclusive savings for families. The Bupa Family+ proposition includes Extensive Mental Health cover Family Mental HealthLine support, cancer cover as well as parent overnight stays if a child needs to spend the night in hospital. Other areas of the policy include further education cover for students up to the age of 24. (Momodou Musa Touray, 12/9/2023, Money Marketing, 'Bupa UK launches family health proposition')

Artemis Investment Management (LLP) has dished out £63m to its partners in spite of declining assets and earnings. The fund house reported a dip in both assets and profits for the financial year ended 31 December 2022. Accounts filed at Companies House show profits in 2022 dropped to £79.5m compared to £101m the prior year. Despite the decline, shareholders were given a remuneration of £62.9m, down from £77.4m the prior year. (Momodou Musa Touray, 25/9/2023, Money Marketing, 'Artemis partners get £63m amid assets and profits decline')

Phoenix Group has said it is looking for further opportunities for mergers and acquisitions. In its interim financial results for the first half of 2023, the business confirmed it has the “financial flexibility” to fund transactions. Phoenix completed the acquisition of Sun Life of Canada UK for £250m in April. It has seen good initial integration progress with £46m of cash generation remitted within the first three months, equating to around 20% of the purchase price. (Lois Vallely, 18/9/2023, Money Marketing, 'Phoenix Group eyes further M&A opportunities')

Financial Planner and wealth manager Kingswood Group, which confirmed it was up for sale earlier this year, has reported a 10% rise in group operating profit to £5m for the first half of 2023. UK revenue was boosted by organic growth and the acquisition of a number of financial adviser firms, including IFA firm Barry Fleming & Partners. Two further transactions are at an advanced stage, the firm said. UK & Ireland revenue increased by 41% compared to the same period last year, of which 86% is recurring. UK & I Operating Profit was £7.7m and in line with expectations, the company said. (Financial Planning Today, 29/9/2023, 'Kingswood reports 10% operating profit rise')

Mergers & Acquisitions

Investment manager Castlefield has sold its small Authorised Corporate Director (ACD) business, citing growing regulatory pressures in the space. Thesis Unit Trust Management, which trades as Tutman, has acquired ConBrio Fund Partners from Castlefield for an undisclosed fee. The two ranges managed by ConBrio, which comprise eight funds in total, will be added to the 150 funds for which Thesis is already the ACD. (Christopher Johnson, 14/9/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Castlefield sells ACD unit to Thesis as regulatory pressure mounts')

​New Skerritts CEO Paul Feeney has made his first foray into the market with the acquisition of Kent-based financial planner Ambrose Fisher. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, is backed by private equity (PE) firm Sovereign Capital Partners, which invested £55m in Skerritts in March 2021. Skerritts has £1.6bn in assets under management (AUM). Ambrose adds a further £62m. (John Schaffer, 14/9/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'PE-backed Skerritts buys Kent planner as Feeney gets to work')

​National advice firm Foster Denovo has acquired Newcastle-based Wade Financial for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition brings in £220m of assets under advice as well as six Advisers and 10 support staff. Foster Denovo Chief Executive Roger Brosch said: “From the moment we met it was obvious that we share the same client centric approach and a clear and positive vision of the future. We have taken time to understand each other, and this has given us great confidence in the cultural and propositional fit between us.” (Momodou Musa Touray, 27/9/2023, Money Marketing, 'Foster Denovo buys Newcastle-based advice firm')

​Aviva is to acquire American International Group’s (AIG) UK protection business for £460m. Aviva will acquire AIG Life UK from Corebridge Financial, a subsidiary of AIG. It said that AIG Life UK would build upon its “momentum in the protection market”. The acquisition means existing AIG Life UK customers will benefit from “Aviva’s expertise and financial strength”. (Darius McQuaid, 25/9/2023, Money Marketing, 'Aviva to acquire AIG’s UK protection business')

Söderberg & Partners Group has acquired stakes in three financial advice firms, making them the Swedish wealth manager’s first major investments in the UK. The group acquired majority stake in the independent financial advisory company Timothy James & Partners (TJP) from current owner Waverton Investment Management Group. Söderberg & Partners has also taken a minority stake in advice firms Dartington Wealth Management based in Cambridge and Atherton York (Chartered Financial Planners) in North London. (Momodou Musa Touray, 13/9/2023, Money Marketing, 'Söderberg & Partners acquires stakes in three IFA firms')


​Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management has made two senior appointments across its regional network. Adam Ross and Rupert Stone have been made Divisional Directors, with the former given responsibility for the oversight of operations in Norwich, Newcastle and York and the latter taking charge of Blackpool, Lancaster and Llandudno. Ross has been at CGWM since 2014 as an Investment Director and Chairman of the alternative fund selection committee. Prior to joining CGWM, he worked at Jonathan Fry as a Private Wealth Director for more than a year. He has also had stints at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, Barclays Wealth Management and Coutts. Meanwhile Stone, spent over a year as an Investment Director at CGWM before his promotion. Before joining the firm, he worked for Punter Southall Wealth for more than two years as a Director and Head of Investment Management, before moving to CGWM in 2017 following its acquisition of the business. (Christopher Johnson, 22/9/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Canaccord bolsters regions with divisional director appointments')

​HSBC Asset Management has hired Abrdn veteran Richard Smith as UK Credit Solutions Head. He joins from Abrdn where he held the post of Investment Director after working at the firm under its various guises for more than 25 years. Smith was a Senior Portfolio Manager at Aberdeen Asset Management before its merger with Standard Life, and its rebrand to Abrdn. Smith started his career at Deutsche Asset Management, working as a Senior Portfolio Manager for more than seven years until it was sold to Aberdeen Asset Management in 2005. (Christopher Johnson, 21/9/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'HSBC AM hires Abrdn veteran as UK credit solutions head')

​Quilter has hired Chris Jones, Head of Change and Prioritisation from St James’s Place (SJP), as Academy Director of its Financial Adviser School training programme, with an eye on boosting the number of new Advisers across its network and national business. The Financial Adviser School, which was acquired by Quilter in 2015 from the Sesame Network, has so far brought through 564 advisers. Quilter’s new strategy for the initiative aims to make sure that those who come through after qualifying are given practical support within the firm when they start advising clients. (Victoria Bell, 21/9/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Quilter hires from SJP in bid to rival adviser academy')

​Atomos has appointed Dawn Mealing as Financial Planning Business Manager. Mealing joins the wealth firm after six years at Fidelity International, where she was the Head of Advice Policy and Proposition. Mealing has more than 30 years’ experience in personal financial planning and has worked at, among other companies, Mazars and Bluefin Group, which was previously owned by Axa.  Prior to working at Fidelity, Mealing was Head of Financial Planning at Tilney Group, which later acquired Smith & Williamson and rebranded to Evelyn Partners last year. (Caroline Hug, 14/9/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Atomos poaches Fidelity advice policy head')

​Quilter Cheviot has bolstered its fund research team with a new hire. Samir Shah joins the investment house as a Fund Research Analyst from Cenkos Securities. At Cenkos, Shah worked as its Head of Research for nearly two years with a focus on investment companies. Prior to this, he provided maternity cover at Quilter in 2021 and worked as a Research Analyst at Abrdn for more than nine years within its muti-manager division. (Christopher Johnson, 13/9/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Quilter Cheviot hires Cenkos investment trust research head')

St James’s Place (SJP) has appointed former Prudential boss Mark FitzPatrick as the successor to CEO Andrew Croft. FitzPatrick will succeed Croft on the 1st of October, 2023. Croft, who joined SJP in 1993 and has led the business since 2018, will remain as a Director up to the 1st of December to assist with the handover and will continue to offer support into next year if required. FitzPatrick was CEO of Prudential on an interim basis until February 2023. Prior to this, he was Chief Financial Officer at the insurer from 2017 to 2022 and also had a spell as Chief Operating Officer. (Dylan Lobo, Jack Gilbert, 13/9/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Ex-Pru boss to succeed Andrew Croft as SJP CEO')

HSBC Private Banking has hired five Relationship Managers from Credit Suisse, covering both high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth client segments in the UK. Phil Aleppo will lead the team, reporting to Charles Boulton, CEO Private Banking UK. At Credit Suisse, Aleppo managed a team of Bankers in the UK domestic team. His newly created group will focus on the senior finance professionals market, including private equity and hedge funds. He will be joined by Henri Etchegoyen, Brad Werner, Usmaan Aziz and Oliver Beasan​. (Margaryta Kirakosian, 12/9/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'HSBC hires five Credit Suisse private bankers for new UK team')

Former Newcastle Falcons rugby legends Alex Tait and Will Welch have made a switch to financial planning, joining a branch of consolidator Independent Wealth Planners (IWP). Welch and Tait played professional rugby for 15 and 16 years respectively before making the move to become Advisers at Professional Wealth Management (PWM), which operates under IWP’s umbrella. (Zachariah Sharif, 4/9/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Club rugby legends join IWP as planners')

Weatherbys banking CEO has stepped down after a 23-year stint at the family-owned business. Roger Weatherby, who was appointed CEO in 2000, is being replaced by the private bank’s Managing Director Quentin Marshall. Weatherby will become Chair, taking the place of former St James’s Place boss David Bellamy, the first non-member of the Weatherbys family to hold a leadership role. Bellamy had chaired the business since 2017. Marshall has been with Weatherbys since 2015. He joined the business from Coutts, where he served as Head of Advisory and was Deputy Chair of the bank’s investment strategy committee. Prior to this, he had a 16-year stint at UBS and was an Executive Director within the Swiss bank’s wealth arm at the point of his departure. (Olivia Bybel, 4/9/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Weatherbys banking CEO steps down after 23 years')

Simon New has resigned from his post as Chief Executive of Iress UK just four months after taking up the role. Iress UK staff have been informed of the resignation. It’s not clear why New has parted ways with the fintech firm. New was named CEO in April as part of a major overhaul of Iress UK’s operating structure and senior management team. He stepped across from the role of Chief Commercial Officer to lead the UK business, which was given greater autonomy to drive growth and innovation. (Momodou Musa Touray, 28/9/2023, Money Marketing, 'Iress UK CEO Simon New resigns after four months')

Quilter has appointed a new Director of Mergers and Acquisitions to help build out the M&A function and lead on deals across the Quilter group. Former Commercial Director for Quilter Financial Planning Willem van Rooy has been appointed into the newly created role. With over 17 years in financial services, including almost a decade with Quilter, van Rooy has fulfilled a variety of roles including Head of Corporate Finance and Head of Integration. (Lois Vallely, 18/9/2023, Money Marketing, 'Quilter creates M&A director role to lead acquisitions push')

Benchmark has appointed Gillian Hepburn to the newly created role of Commercial Director. Hepburn joins the senior executive team from parent company Schroders Group where she is currently Head of UK Intermediary Solutions. She joined Schroders in 2019 from The Embark Group and has played a key role in launching ‘Schroder Investment Solutions’. (Momodou Musa Touray, 13/9/2023, Money Marketing, 'Benchmark hires Gillian Hepburn as commercial director')

Sesame Bankhall Group has appointed Richard Harrison as its new Chief Executive, subject to FCA approval. Bringing more than 20 years’ financial services leadership experience, he will join the business from Wesleyan Assurance Society, where he is currently Chief Distribution Officer. Prior to Wesleyan, Harrison was Head of Network and Premier at HSBC UK, where he was responsible for more than 7,000 people and 520 branches. (Lois Vallely, 6/9/2023, Money Marketing, 'Sesame Bankhall Group names new CEO')

Seven Investment Management (7IM) has appointed Agustin Fernandez to the newly created role of Managing Director, Corporate and Strategy Development. Prior to joining 7IM, Fernandez was HSBC Head of Investment Banking for wealth and asset managers and wealth-techs in EMEA. He also led mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance transactions for the company. Before HSBC, Fernandez worked as a Strategy and Management Consultant at PwC. (Darius McQuaid, 7/9/2023, Money Marketing, '7IM appoints MD of corporate & strategy development')

​Rathbones Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and board member Jennifer Mathias is set to exit the role at the end of the year. She will transition to the new position of Group Chief of Staff to support the integration of Investec Wealth & Investment. Rathbones has appointed Investec W&I Finance Director, Iain Hooley, as Mathias’ successor, subject to regulatory approval. Hooley has been Investec W&I’s Finance Director for more than a decade, and he will continue in this position during the integration period. (Jeremy Gordon, 29/9/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Rathbones CFO Jennifer Mathias replaced by Investec W&I finance director')

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 Citywire Wealth Manager.