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Financial Services Newsletter Friday 1st December 2023

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Financial Services News

Rathbone Unit Trust Management has rebranded under new chief executive Tom Carroll. The business will now be known as Rathbone Asset Management. Carroll, who was appointed CEO in July, said the evolution of the business since its formation in 1999 was the driving factor behind the rebrand. ‘We believe the new name is a better fit for a business which now manages over £12 billion of assets, and which has significantly broadened its range of strategies beyond the unit trusts available originally,’ Carroll said in a statement. (Caroline Hug, 30/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'New Rathbones Unit Trust CEO leads rebrand')

​Close Brothers Group has expressed its interest to push organic growth in its wealth unit through ‘in-fill acquisitions’. In a quarterly trading update to the end of October, the firm highlighted its desire for Close Brothers Asset Management (CBAM) to grow through further appointments and purchases. There was no mention, however, of a sale of Close’s wealth unit. Caroline Hug, 16/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Close keen to snap up wealth businesses as sale rumours quieten')

​Wealth and investment managers 7IM have announced a partnership with Artificial Intelligence fintech business Aveni. It said Aveni’s Generative AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP)-based technology platform will “boost productivity of its financial advisers and wealth managers”. The adoption of the latest advances in generative AI, NLP and large language models will allow 7IM to use AI-technology to build a scalable operating platform. (Dan Cooper, 30/11/2023, Money Marketing, '7IM launches AI partnership to boost advisers’ productivity')

​The Financial Conduct Authority has banned Nigel Lewis and Susan Jones of West Wales Financial Services Limited from advising customers on pension transfers and pension opt-outs. Lewis has also been banned from holding any senior management functions in a regulated firm. Between March and December 2017, the regulator found that WWFS provided “unsuitable” pension transfer advice based on the “incorrect assumption” that it would be in their customers’ best interests to transfer out of their secure defined benefit pension. Jones advised 27 of 28 customers to transfer out of their defined benefit pension scheme, 25 of whom were members of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS). In total, £9,769,550 of pension funds were transferred to riskier defined contribution schemes. (Lois Vallely, 27/11/2023, Money Marketing, 'FCA bans two advisers for ‘careless and incompetent’ BSPS advice')

Moneyinfo has teamed up with Seccl to develop a client onboarding integration, which will launch early next year. By making use of Seccl’s API capability, the new integration will allow firms to gather clients’ acceptance of suitability. It will also assist their acceptance of platform and wrapper T&Cs, all in one go. The firms claim this could save “weeks of back and forth and delay”. (Lois Vallely, 24/11/2023, Money Marketing, 'Seccl and Moneyinfo team up to launch client onboarding integration')

Mergers & Acquisitions

​Private equity-backed consolidator Titan Wealth has acquired Aspira Corporate Solutions, three months after the latter rescued its sister firm LEBC with a deal to buy its client book. It marks the end of LEBC and Aspira’s ownership by listed private equity trust BP Marsh, which had a 59.3% stake in LEBC Holdings, the main shareholder in both advice businesses. BP Marsh valued its stake in LEBC at £15.9m in January, a £9m writedown from its previous estimate. In a market update, BP Marsh said that it expected to receive payments from Titan over three years which would be in line with this January valuation. On top of this, BP Marsh expects £3.3m in outstanding loans to LEBC to be repaid. (Jack Gilbert, 13/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'PE-backed Titan Wealth acquires LEBC’s rescuer to take assets to £16bn')

​Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management (CGWM) has acquired Glasgow-based financial planning business Intelligent Capital for an undisclosed fee. The transaction adds £220m of client assets to CGWM’s books. Intelligent Capital, which was founded in 1999, will operate under Adam & Company, CGWM’s Scottish arm acquired from Coutts for £54m in 2022. The deal sees David Bremner, Managing Director of Scottish IFA, become Head of Wealth Management for Glasgow under the Adam & Co umbrella. (Christopher Johnson, 9/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Canaccord bolsters Adam & Co arm with Glasgow buy')

​Evelyn Partners has purchased Tunbridge Wells-based accountancy firm Creaseys Group for an undisclosed sum. Creaseys has around 50 staff and provides assurance, advisory and tax services to businesses and individuals, with a focus on advising private equity executives on their tax affairs. Andrew Wilkes, Chief Professional Services Director at Evelyn, said: "Strategically this acquisition will further develop our professional services presence in the South East of England, supporting our ambition of being able to provide our range of professional services to businesses and private clients right across the UK." (John Schaffer, 3/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Evelyn Partners buys Tunbridge Wells accountancy firm with PE focus')

​Courtiers has acquired Norwich-based Brunswick Investment Management, bringing its total funds under management to £1.1bn. The deal, which completed on 1 November, brings £105m in client funds. Courtiers now has seven offices in the UK and its number of employees has risen to 140. The acquisition marks the latest in a string of buys as the firm builds towards its target of £3bn funds under management by 2033. (Caroline Hug, 2/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Courtiers buys Norwich investment manager and eyes further deals')

​Perspective Financial Group Ltd (Perspective) has made its twentieth acquisition of the year by snapping up Essex-based Primera Wealth Management Ltd. The deal brings 340 households as clients and £205m of Assets Under Management (AUM). Perspective’s latest acquisition brings the total number to 76 since the company was founded 16 years ago. Perspective now has 500 staff, 38 local offices and 140 financial planners. It also manages £8bn of assets on behalf of clients. (Dan Cooper, 23/11/2023, Money Marketing, 'Perspective Financial makes twentieth acquisition of the year')

Fairstone has acquired Station Financial IFA which has three offices in New Milton in Hampshire, and Bridgend and Chepstow in Wales. This move adds to its presence in Wales to five offices. It has also completed its acquisition of Advanced Financial Services which has two north east-based offices in Newton Aycliffe and Consett in Durham. Both firms joined Fairstone through its proprietary Downstream Buy Out (DBO) acquisition model which integrates enterprising and forward-thinking IFA firms into the group prior to final acquisition. The combined deals bring over £380m of assets under management (AUM), £4m in annual revenue, 2,000 clients, 17 experienced advisers and 19 dedicated support staff. (Darius McQuaid, 2/11/2023, Money Marketing, 'Fairstone acquires two IFAs')


Schroders Personal Wealth (SPW) has hired Barclays’ Head of Transformation Paul Greenwood. He will take on the newly created role of Head of Transformation to drive changes in technology at the company. Before joining SPW, Greenwood was at Barclays for more than 20 years in a variety of roles in the UK, Africa, Asia and the US, where he was responsible for major changes in technology and infrastructure. (Victoria Bell, 16/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Schroders PW poaches Barclays transformation head')

Succession Wealth has appointed Daniel Jones as Head of Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A). Previously, he was Manager of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) financial services advisory team and prior to this spent four years as M&A Director at Jones Corporate Finance. (Darius McQuaid, 20/11/2023, Money Marketing, 'Succession Wealth hires head of M&A')

Two advice veterans have joined Walker Crips nearly two years after their business was acquired by Succession Wealth. Joanne Crewe and Paul Gooch have joined Walker Crips to spearhead the wealth manager’s expansion of its advice network across London and the Home Counties. The pair each spent more than two decades at Pannells Financial Planning, which was acquired by Succession Wealth at the start of 2022. Crewe worked as a Regional Director of London and the South East for Pannells for 23 years. Previously she held positions at Towergate Sharp and AXA Sun Life. Gooch spent 20 years as a Regional Director at Pannells, serving on the senior leadership team. (Olivia Bybel, 15/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Walker Crips hires advice duo two years after Succession bought firm')

In further news...Walker Crips has hired Sally Greenwood as Investment Director in its Birmingham Office. Greenwood joins from Blankstone Sington where she has been a Chartered Wealth Manager for the past five years. Greenwood began her career as an Assistant Portfolio Manager at Brewin Dolphin in 2000 before qualifying as an Investment Manager at Pilling & Co. She also spent more than seven years as a Private Banker at Barclays Wealth & Investment Management. (Nour Azhar, 29/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Walker Crips poaches Birmingham investment director from under pressure DFM')

​Hargreaves Lansdown has announced the former Chair of L&G Financial Advice as the new leader of its board, cementing a change of the investment platform’s leadership after a torrid period of share price performance. Alison Platt has been appointed as Chair of HL’s board and a Non-Executive Director, succeeding Deanna Oppenheimer. Platt is a former Bupa Executive and was Chief Executive of estate agency Countrywide from 2014-2018, before chairing Legal & General’s financial advice arm from 2019 until last year. She is currently Chair of veterinary group Dechra Pharmaceuticals, which is being acquired by a Swedish private equity firm, as well as sitting on Tesco’s board and chairing general insurer Ageas UK. (Jeremy Gordon, 29/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Hargreaves Lansdown names ex-Countrywide CEO as new chair')

​Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management (CGWM) regional boss Charles Cohen has been appointed Head of the wealth firm’s Jersey office. He succeeds Ryan Harrison, who is retiring after 16 years with the firm, leading Jersey for the last year. The pair will work alongside each other for a period of time to ensure a smooth handover. Cohen has served as Regional Head since February 2016, where he was responsible for five CGWM offices in North of England. He has also been an Investment Director at Canaccord Genuity in London since 2016. (Christopher Johnson, 28/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Canaccord regional boss takes top Jersey wealth post')

​Brooks Macdonald has appointed Maarten Slendebroek as Chairman, replacing Richard Price who held the position on an interim basis. Slendebroek was Jupiter’s Chief Executive for five years from February 2014, and has been Chair of the supervisory board of Robeco since August 2020. (John Schaffer, 27/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Brooks Macdonald names ex-Jupiter CEO as new chair')

​Mattioli Woods has hired multi-asset veteran Dean Cheeseman for a newly created lead investment position within the business. Cheeseman left Janus Henderson in November 2022 after a five-year stint as a Portfolio Fund Manager across the firm’s multi-asset solutions and also ran the fund firm’s International Equity fund. Prior to this, he spent nearly seven years at Mercer, where he personally managed more than $5bn (£4bn) of multi-asset risk-profiled defined contribution funds and a number of global equity funds for defined benefit solutions. He has about 25 years of experience in total. (Dylan Lobo, 24/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Mattioli Woods hires Dean Cheeseman for new investment role')

​RBC Brewin Dolphin has hired Richard Betts as a Wealth Director for its 1762 division, based in St James’s, London. Betts joins from J Safra Sarasin where he was an Executive Director and Relationship Manager for just over two years. He has also held private client roles at Standard Chartered and HSBC Private Bank. (John Schaffer, 21/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'RBC Brewin Dolphin hires director for UHNW arm')

​An RBC Brewin Dolphin veteran of more the two decades is upping sticks to join rival Evelyn PartnersMatthew Wells, who has spent 23 years at RBC Brewin, has joined Evelyn’s Leeds arm as a Partner. As a Senior Portfolio Manager for RBC Brewin, Wells managed portfolios for charities and private clients. He began his career in investment in 1997 at Schroders Investment Management in London as a Fund Manager Assistant, where he worked within the emerging markets team, providing investment solutions for US corporate and US state pension funds. (Caroline Hug, 20/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Evelyn hires 23-year RBC Brewin Dolphin veteran for Leeds arm')

In further news...Evelyn Partners has strengthened its Bristol office with three new hires. Bronwen Lancaster joins as a Partner, Joy Wisniewski as an Associate Director of Financial Planning, and Chris Iles as a Financial Planner. Lancaster moves to Evelyn after seven years at law firm Irwin Mitchell, where she worked as a Chartered Financial Planner. Prior to working at Irwin Mitchell, Lancaster held financial planning roles at Towry, WH Ireland, and Brewin Dolphin. Wisniewski joins Evelyn Partners after almost a decade at Hartsfield Planning, where she most recently worked as Head of Planning. Iles joins Evelyn Partners from Schroders Personal Wealth, where he spent a year as a Chartered Financial Planner. (Caroline Hug, 7/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Evelyn Partners boosts Bristol team with financial planning trio')

​Evelyn Partners’ former Head of Bristol Private Client Services has joined forces with a former Financial Planning Director at Close Brothers Asset Management (CBAM) to launch Bristol-based Gordian Wealth Management. Jerry Barnes, who worked at Smith & Williamson from 2011 to 2015 before its rebrand to Evelyn Partners, and Edward Green, who worked at CBAM for almost two decades, set up the business to cater to the duo’s client base in the Southwest of England. Their aim is to expand the firm’s reach to clients who ‘want a personalised professional service’ at ‘reasonable’ prices, with the offering spanning investments, pensions and mortgage referrals as well as other services. (Christopher Johnson, 24/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Ex-S&W and Close directors join forces for Bristol firm launch')

​Seven Investment Management’s (7IM) Managing Director, intermediary, Verona Kenny is leaving the business at the start of next year after a decade with the wealth firm. Kenny, who joined 7IM from adviser platform Cofunds in 2013, ran 7IM’s investment platform until 2018, when she was promoted to Head of Intermediary. Kenny said she had taken the ‘tough decision’ to leave 7IM for a new challenge. Kenny’s departure comes as 7IM restructures its senior team following its change of owners in September, with Russell Lancaster appointed Managing Director of Platforms and Intermediary Partnerships. Lancaster joins after a four-month stint at platform software giant FNZ, where he was Managing Director. Before FNZ, Lancaster led the UK intermediary sales and distribution teams at Fidelity International. He joined Fidelity in 2013 as a Retail Sales Director. 7IM has also promoted Chris Justham as Managing Director of Intermediary Solutions from his current role as the Head of the Wealth firm’s London and Southwest intermediary business. (Caroline Hug, Victoria Bell, 20/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, '7IM’s Verona Kenny leaves after 10 years, as FNZ’s MD joins')

WH Ireland has appointed a new Chair in its latest boardroom shake-up. Previous Chair Simon Lough, along with fellow Non-Executive Directors Helen Sinclair and Tom Wood, are stepping down from the firm’s board with immediate effect. Simon Moore, who has more than three decades of experience in the industry, starting his career in investment in the corporate banking division at Lloyds Bank, has been recruited as WH Ireland’s new Chair. Since leaving Lloyds, Moore has been Regional Chairman for Barclays Corporate in Wales and the Southwest, a Non-Executive Chairman for Al Rayan Bank, Pennant International Group, and Cambridge & Counties Bank. He currently sits on the board as Non-Executive Chair at PCF Bank, RCI Bank, and Liverpool Victoria Financial Services. He is also a Wallscourt Foundation trustee at the University of West of England. Moore is joined by Non-Executive Director Garry Stran on the new look WH Ireland board. Stran, who has also been in the industry for more than 30 years, is currently Director of Catalyst Asset Finance, Azule, PCF Group, and Collingtree Enterprises. (Caroline Hug, 16/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'WH Ireland names new chair in boardroom shake-up')

Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management UK (CGWM) has made two business development hires as it aims to broaden its reach in the southwest and northern advice communities. Toby Gower has joined from M&G Wealth, where he spent about three years as a Strategic Account Manager. At CGWM he will work to develop relationships with advice networks in the southwest. Francis Walker, who will focus on CGWM’s north relationships, joins from Abrdn where he spent more than five years, working his way up from Telephone Account Manager to Business Development Manager. (Christopher Johnson, 16/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Canaccord targets advisers with Abrdn and M&G Wealth hires')

​Close Brothers Asset Management (CBAM) has appointed Sally Fawcitt to its London Mayfair office. Fawcitt joins the firm as Senior Investment Manager, after close to 20 years at Evelyn Partners. At Evelyn, Fawcitt managed advisory and discretionary portfolios for both private clients and trusts. She was also a Trustee for Evelyn’s charitable trust. (Caroline Hug, 15/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Investment director joins Close after 20-year Evelyn stint')

​Charles Stanley has bolstered its research capabilities, with the appointment of Abbas Owainati as Head of Asset Allocation and Amish Patel as Head of Equity Research. Owainati joins the firm in the newly-created role of Asset Allocation Head, after almost six years at BT Pension Scheme Management, where he worked as a Macro Strategist and shaped investment plans for the £47bn scheme. Prior to this, he worked at Old Mutual Global Investors (now known as Quilter Investors) as a Macro Strategist. In this role, he led macroeconomic research and worked with fund managers in formulating the asset allocation strategy. Patel joins Charles Stanley as Head of Equity Research from Quintet Private Bank, where he was a Senior Equity Analyst and Strategy Lead for US equities. Patel has more than 15 years of experience in the industry, having started his career at Janus Henderson Investors, where he most recently worked as Portfolio Manager on the Henderson International Equities team. He later joined Talisman Global Asset Management as a Global Equity Investment Manager, before joining Brown Shipley as a Senior Equity Research Analyst. (Caroline Hug, 7/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Charles Stanley appoints senior research duo')

​Atomos London Head Stuart McCann has left the business. McCann joined Atomos in 2012, then known as Sanlam Wealth, as Senior Portfolio Manager. Prior to his time at Sanlam, he worked as an Investment Adviser and Relationship Manager at Seven Investment Management (7IM). He has approximately two decades of experience in the industry, having started his career as an Independent Financial Adviser for Chase de Vere, before taking a role as a Private Client Manager at Killik & Co. It is unclear who will take over McCann’s position as Head of the London office. (Caroline Hug, 6/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Revealed: Atomos London office head Stuart McCann exits')

​JP Morgan has hired Robin Wright as an Executive Director and Client Adviser covering the northern UK market, as the bank grows its presence in Manchester. Wright will focus on advising entrepreneurs and family businesses. He joins from Coutts, where he spent the last 11 years and ran the northeast region, covering Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle offices. Prior to that, Wright was Deputy Regional Director and Head of Global Sports Group at HSBC. He was also a Senior Independent Financial Adviser at AWD Chase de Vere. Another addition to the Manchester office is Ramina Talishinskaya, who started at JP Morgan three years ago as a Wealth Management Analyst and will now be an Associate and Client Adviser. (Margaryta Kirakosian, 2/11/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Coutts North East head exits for JP Morgan')

​Financial Planner and wealth management professional Zane Hunter has joined the senior team of The Exit Partnership to support, shape and continue to grow the business. Exit Partnership Managing Director Victoria Hicks said: “Zane has had an incredible career in financial planning and is highly qualified. He has sat on the board and in leadership teams across a breadth of firms, most recently as head of wealth for One Four Nine Group." (Lois Vallely, 28/11/2023, Money Marketing, 'Financial planner Zane Hunter joins Exit Partnership’s leadership team')

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