Blog Img

Financial Services Newsletter Friday 5th January 2024

Back to Blogs

Financial Services News

​AJ Bell Co-Founder Andy Bell and Aviva CEO Amanda Blanc have been awarded CBEs in the government’s New Year Honours List. Bell received the award for services to the financial sector. He co-founded AJ Bell in 1995 with Nicholas Littlefair and was CEO for 27 years, stepping down in 2022. Blanc received her award for services to business, gender equality and net zero. She was appointed CEO of Aviva in 2020, having previously been the chair of the asset manager’s customer, conduct and reputation board committee. (Nicola Blackburn, 2/1/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Andy Bell and Aviva CEO bag CBEs in New Year Honours List')

​Evelyn Partners has announced the launch of a financial planning graduate programme. The new scheme will welcome its first cohort in September 2024. It will teach recruits how to build relationships with clients, assess their complete financial position, build flexible plans and provide appropriate recommendations of services and products. (Lois Vallely, 3/1/2024, Money Marketing, 'Evelyn Partners launches graduate training programme for planners')

​SG Wealth Management (SGWM) Founder Stephen Girling passed away during the festive period. The 61-year-old married father of three was taken ill at the end of last year and died peacefully at his Norwich home surrounded by his family. Girling was a prominent figure in the East Anglian business community known throughout the region for his charitable activities. SGWM Chair, Dr Andy Wood OBE, said he has been in constant contact with Girling’s family since learning that he was unwell. ‘"I can say from both a personal and professional perspective that he was an incredibly special man who brought a lot of guidance, kindness and opportunity to many", said Dr Andy Wood OBE. (Dylan Lobo, 2/1/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'SG Wealth founder Stephen Girling dies')

​Premier Miton has recorded a more than 60% drop in its annual profits and cut its dividend, as challenging conditions weigh on the asset manager after another year of seeing net outflows of greater than £1bn. In annual results for the year to October, published recently, the firm reported pre-tax profits of £5.9m, a significant drop from £15.7m in the previous year. (Jeremy Gordon, 5/12/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Premier Miton stock slips after profits fall 60%')

​River & Mercantile has changed its name to River Global, a year after the active equity units of Martin Gilbert’s AssetCo were moved under the R&M brand. At that point last year, R&M merged its operating structure with SVM Asset Management, Saracen Fund Managers and Revera Asset Management. Since then, Gilbert has acquired Indian specialist Ocean Dial Asset Management, which will also take on the new River Global brand. Chief executive of the asset management group Alex Hoctor-Duncan told Citywire Wealth Manager that the rebrand represented ‘chapter two’ for the business. (John Schaffer, 4/12/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'River & Mercantile rebrands as CEO issues rallying cry')

Transact has seen both its adviser base and client numbers increase during another year of growth. Its full-year results for 2023 show the platform reached record funds under direction (FUD) of £55bn on 30 September 2023, with the average for the year being £53.6bn – a 2% increase on 2022. The number of advisers registered on Transact rose 3% from 7,500 to 7,700, while clients using the Transact platform grew 2% from circa 225,000 to 230,000. (Dan Cooper, 14/12/2023, Money Marketing, 'Transact sees adviser and client numbers increase')

Mergers & Acquisitions

​Fast-growing wealth manager and Financial Planner Perspective Financial Group completed two more acquisitions shortly before the Christmas break, adding £190m AUM to the firm. It acquired £135m AUM Colchester-based Park Lane Independent Financial Advisers Ltd which has 300 households as clients. It also added the £55m AUM client banks of former Fairstone Financial Management colleagues Simon McGechie and Paul Adams, bringing in 265 clients. The cost of the acquisitions has not been disclosed. (Financial Planning Today, 5/1/2024, 'Perspective adds £190m AUM with two acquisitions')

Knaresborough-based Financial Planning firm Prosperis has acquired Newcastle-based IFA Stephen McDine Ltd for an undisclosed sum. Stephen McDine is based in Tyne and Wear and specialises in pensions, investments, mortgages and insurance. The deal brings around £50m in client assets under advice. Stephen McDine was founded in September 2004 and has two employees. Trading names include Positive Wealth Management (since May 2011). (Financial Planning Today, 4/1/2024, 'Prosperis acquires Newcastle IFA')

​Atomos has acquired two regional advice firms – Shore Financial Planning and Define Wealth – for undisclosed sums. The acquisitions are part of the firm’s growth strategy to add specialist financial advisers and expand its geographical footprint. The deal for Plymouth-based Shore Financial Planning, founded by Jon and Alison Treharne, will expand Atomos’s presence in Devon and Cornwall. Define Wealth is based in Reigate, Surrey, and was set up by Managing Director Simon Wood-Woolley. Adviser and Non-Executive Director Tim Johnson, who has experience with high-net-worth clients in the South East, will be joining Atomos from Define Wealth. (Caroline Hug, 19/12/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Atomos snaps up IFAs in Surrey and Plymouth')

Evelyn Partners has acquired Harwood Hutton, a firm of accountants, tax advisers and business specialists with an office in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. Established in 1957, Harwood Hutton’s 70-strong team provides clients with a range of personal and business tax and accountancy services. It has a particular expertise working with owner-managed, entrepreneurial businesses. The acquisition of Harwood Hutton continues Evelyn Partners’ strategy of augmenting strong organic growth in its professional services business. (Lois Vallely, 5/12/2023, Money Marketing, 'Evelyn Partners acquires Buckinghamshire-based advice firm')

​Close Brothers Asset Management (CBAM) has snapped up Dorset-based financial adviser Bottriell Adams. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, will see the wealth firm add £220m in assets under management (AUM) to its existing £16.2bn AUM. The purchase price was not revealed. CBAM Wealth Planning Head John Edmeads said that the firm purchased the IFA due to its client-centric focus and cultural alignment with the business. (Caroline Hug, 13/12/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Revealed: Close Brothers AM acquires £220m Dorset IFA')

In further news...Close Brothers Asset Management (CBAM) has agreed to acquire Dorset based IFA Bottriell Adams. Bottriell Adams was founded in 2004 and currently manages over £220m of assets for its high net worth client families and small businesses. The partners, financial planners and support team at Bottriell Adams will all join CBAM as part of the agreement. (Dan Cooper, 13/12/2023, Money Marketing, 'Close Brothers Asset Management acquires IFA business')

​Benchmark Capital has acquired West Sussex IFA Champain Financial Services for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition of Champain brings £111m in client assets to Benchmark. The Schroders-owned wealth management business now has around £17bn assets under advice on its platform. Champain Financial Services is currently an appointed representative (AR) of Benchmark’s Best Practice IFA network. It joined the network in 2011 and has since used Benchmark’s Fusion investment platform, client portal and compliance services. (Nicola Blackburn, 12/12/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Benchmark acquires Sussex IFA as it lines up 160 new advisers')

​7IM has acquired financial planning and advice business Amicus Wealth, for an undisclosed sum. The deal sees London-based Amicus Wealth add £1bn in assets under management (AUM) to 7IM, creating a total of £22bn in AUM. Amicus Wealth is an appointed representative of the Quilter advice network, meaning the takeover will be a blow for Quilter. (Olivia Bybel, 11/12/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, '7IM snaps up financial planner Amicus Wealth from Quilter')

Alternatives specialist Gresham House’s sale to private equity firm Searchlight Capital has completed, with details revealed of its ambitious growth targets. The deal, worth £470m, was first announced on 17 July. Shares in the firm have now been withdrawn from the AIM market. Chief Executive Tony Dalwood said that since the firm listed in 2014, its market cap has grown from £15m to more than £450m. (John Schaffer, 20/12/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Gresham House PE sale completed, with £20bn AUM target announced')

Swedish wealth giant Söderberg & Partners has secured a minority stake in London-based IFA Generation Financial Services, as the firm continues its push into the UK advice market. Söderberg has now bought a stake in four UK advice firms after receiving €200m (£172m) in funding from US private equity firm KKR in June. The business said it had acquired an undisclosed minority stake in Generation FS to help the business gain scale, improve its technology and investment products, and offer regulatory support. (Zachariah Sharif, 13/12/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Swedish wealth giant Söderberg seals fourth deal in UK push')

​A new wealth firm set up by the former EQ Investors CEO has completed the acquisition of an advice business under the St James’s Place umbrella. Liberate Wealth, which was launched by Mark Howlett in October, has struck a deal to buy Stafford House Investments from SJP’s discretionary fund management subsidiary Rowan Dartington. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, adds £275m worth of assets to Liberate Wealth’s assets under management, lifting total assets to £475m. It also gives the firm a presence in the Southwest to sit alongside its existing location in the North. (Dylan Lobo, 6/12/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'New wealth consolidator buys business off SJP’s DFM arm')

​Skerritts Group has acquired Chester-based independent financial adviser firm Chadwick McLean. The deal gives Skerritts a presence in the north-west of England as the group looks to “accelerate its expansion” in the region and nationally. It also adds £230m of assets under management (AUM) to the business. Skerritts is a wealth manager and financial advice firm based in Brighton.(Darius McQuaid, 5/12/2023, Money Marketing, 'Skerritts acquires Chester-based IFA')

Liberate Wealth has announced its second acquisition after its launch in October 2023. The independent financial planning and wealth management business announced the acquisition of Somerset-based advice firm, Stafford House Investments. Stafford House Investments is responsible for £275m of client assets and the acquisition brings Liberate Wealth’s assets under management (AUM) to £475m. (Darius McQuaid, 5/12/2023, Money Marketing, 'Liberate Wealth establishes south west presence with second acquisition')


​Brooks Macdonald Chief Investment Officer (CIO) Edward Park is set to leave after 15 years with the firm. Park joined Brooks Macdonald in 2009 as a graduate trainee, following the completion of his law degree at the University of Oxford. He quickly climbed the ranks before his most recent promotion in September 2020, when he replaced company Co-Founder Richard Spencer as CIO. The news follows the investment management firm’s decision to cut about 55 jobs to reduce costs in difficult market conditions. (Caroline Hug, 4/1/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Revealed: Brooks Macdonald CIO Edward Park exits')

In further news...Brooks Macdonald Birmingham office Head Daniel Worthing has resigned from the business after nine years. Worthing’s career at Brooks Macdonald began in 2014 in the Leamington Spa area. He worked his way up from Investment Manager to the Senior Investment Director and Birmingham team leader roles he took on in September last year. Prior to joining Brooks Macdonald, he worked as an Analyst at BNY Mellon and SL Investment Management, both for relatively short periods. The news comes shortly after Brooks’ London Head George Bromfield resigned from the business after 16 years. Bromfield is believed to be joining the firm’s rival Waverton, although Waverton declined to comment on that point. (Christopher Johnson, 5/12/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Brooks Macdonald Birmingham head departs')

​Lauren Glaister is rejoining Evelyn Partners’ Leeds office as a Partner, following a three-year stint at Abrdn and then LGT Wealth Management. Glaister worked as a Senior Investment Manager at LGT Wealth, which she joined when the firm bought Abrdn’s discretionary fund management arm in September. She previously worked at Tilney Investment Management from 2015 as an Investment Manager, leaving the firm shortly after its merger with Smith & Williamson to create Evelyn Partners was completed. Prior to working at Tilney, Glaister was an Investment Executive at Redmayne Bentley. (Caroline Hug, 2/1/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'New partner rejoins Evelyn’s Leeds office after LGT deal')

In further news...Evelyn Partners has appointed Bindesh Sajvani to the role of Group Chief Risk Officer (CRO). He has joined Evelyn Partners from Pendal Group, the owner of JO Hambro Capital Management, where he was the Global CRO. Prior to this, he was Global CRO for alternative asset management firm Intermediate Capital Group. He is a qualified Accountant and worked at EY, where he was a Senior Consultant in the business risk consultancy practice. His career has included senior risk and compliance roles in subsidiaries of Lloyds Bank (Scottish Widows Investment Management), Aviva (Morley Fund Management) and at Aberdeen Asset Management.(Lois Vallely, 6/12/2023, Money Marketing, 'Evelyn Partners hires new chief risk officer')

​Atomos has promoted Stuart Rosling to Head of Portfolio Management for London following Stuart McCann’s exit. Former London office Head McCann left Atomos after more than a decade with the company in November to rejoin former colleagues at Oberon Investments. The firm has now announced that Rosling will take over as Head of Portfolio Management in the office. He will also retain his previous role as Head of Advisory Managed Stockbroking. Among other changes, Eleanor Ingilby was promoted to Head of High Net Worth, with Jonty Warneken replacing her as Head of the firm’s Harrogate office in September. (Caroline Hug, 21/12/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Stuart Rosling appointed Atomos portfolio management head')

Sarasin & Partners has bolstered its team with the addition of two investment professionals. Edward Lloyd joins the firm as a Senior Investment Manager from Quilter Cheviot where he spent six years managing investments for clients ranging from trusts to charities. Jack Brodie also joins the firm as an investment analyst for the Sarasin Bread Street team, which specialises in private markets and was formed after Sarasin & Partners acquired Bread Street Capital in 2022. Brodie joins the business from Cabot Credit Management where he spent one year. Prior to this, he was an Analyst at the Boston Consulting Group for more than two years. (Christopher Johnson, 11/12/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Sarasin & Partners boosts MPS team with Quilter Cheviot hire')

In further news...​Sarasin & Partners has beefed up its multi-asset proposition with senior hires from Abrdn and Vanguard. Alastair Baker has joined the firm from Abrdn to work with Guy Monson, Chief Market Strategist and Senior Partner. At Abrdn, Baker was Head of Multi-Asset Modelling and Analytics. Prior to this he spent more than 13 years at Schroders, working with global pension funds and insurance companies. Baker is joined by Cédric Phounpadith, who has been appointed Head of Investment Risk at Sarasin. He joins after more than four years at Vanguard, where he focused on equity index and multi-asset strategies. Prior to this, Phounpadith held roles at Kames Capital, HSBC Global Asset Management, and Standard Life, working on multi-asset quantitative solutions and risk management for fixed income strategies. (Christopher Johnson, 4/12/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Sarasin & Partners boosts multi-asset arm with Abrdn and Vanguard hires')

​Seven Investment Management (7IM) has hired former Santander Private Banking Managing Director Ben Covey to lead its private client business. It has also named Catriona Reed as its new London Head. Covey replaces Colin Rowe, who is leaving 7IM next March after three years in the post. Covey spent just over nine years at Santander, four of which were as Head of its private bank business, before his exit in June. Before that, he had a 13-year spell with Barclays Wealth, which included a five-year stint as Regional Head of London and the South East. Meanwhile, Reed, previously Head of Northern England, Scotland & Northern Ireland for 7IM’s Intermediary business, has been appointed as Head of Private Clients in London. (Dylan Lobo, 7/12/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, '7IM appoints new private client and London heads')

​Hampden & Co has recruited another senior figure from Handelsbanken as it looks to broaden its client reach. Claire Mann joins the private bank as Head of Client Proposition. At Handelsbanken she served as Senior Operations and Programme Manager for three years, overseeing the design and management of customer relationship management (CRM). Prior to this, she held CRM roles at NatWest KPMG and HSBC. (Olivia Bybel, 6/12/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Hampden & Co hires head of client proposition from Handelsbanken')

​Two key figures in AJ Bell’s investment team have left the business as news of Investments Head Jamie Ward departing the company emerged shortly after the announcement that D2C Chief Kevin Doran found another role. Lloyds Bank confirmed the hire of Doran, AJ Bell’s Managing Director of D2C and investments, for the newly created post of Chief Investment Officer at the Scottish Widows pensions arm.(Dylan Lobo, Nicola Blackburn, 4/12/2023, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Doran exits AJ Bell for new Lloyds CIO role')

​Quilter has appointed Paul Canning to the new role of Business Development Manager for London and the South-East in its platform business. The new role is part of a revamped and regionally-focused business development team led by Head of Business Development and Discretionary Sales Graham Folley. Canning joins Quilter after 17 years at Abrdn, where most recently he held the role of Strategic Relationship Director. Canning has over 30 years’ experience in financial services, having previously worked for Royal London, RSA and Aviva. (Lois Vallely, 20/12/2023, Money Marketing, 'Quilter poaches Abrdn’s Canning for business development manager')

Roger Marsden has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Succession Wealth, subject to regulatory approval. He takes over from James Stevenson, who is retiring from the business to “pursue interests outside the financial services industry”. Marsden, who is currently Managing Director of retail UK savings and retirement, brings considerable experience to the role. During his career, he has held senior roles in retail wealth and the retirement business. Before joining Aviva, he worked at Barclays Capital and Deloitte where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant. (Lois Vallely, 15/12/2023, Money Marketing, 'Aviva appoints Roger Marsden as new Succession Wealth boss')

The interim Chair of the Personal Finance Society (PFS), Andrew Briscoe, has stepped down, just five months after taking on the role. The PFS said Briscoe left the board on December 1 and was terminated as Director of the society on December 7. Briscoe became interim Chair in July, shortly after joining. Prior to this, he was a former Chair of the Money Advice Service and Indesser. (Dan Cooper, 15/12/2023, Money Marketing, 'PFS interim chair steps down after five months')

Nucleus Chief Digital Officer Andrew Smith will be stepping down from his position at the end of 2023, after spending 13 years at the company. Nucleus Chief Executive Richard Rowney said Smith “has been a key part of Nucleus throughout its journey”. Smith was part of the team that helped to launch the Nucleus Wrap platform in 2006 and played a “pivotal role by ensuring we [Nucleus] focused on the needs of advisers in those early years”. (Darius McQuaid, 18/12/2023, Money Marketing, 'Nucleus chief digital officer Andrew Smith announces departure')

SimplyBiz has appointed Fabian Wiesner to the newly created role of Head of Distribution Partnerships. Wiesner joins SimplyBiz from the role of Strategic Partners Manager at Aviva Investors. He has previously held relationship management positions at Aviva and Old Mutual Global Investors. He holds the IMC and certificate in ESG investing through the CFA Society. (Lois Vallely, 11/12/2023, Money Marketing, 'SimplyBiz creates new head of distribution partnerships role')

​JM Finn has announced the appointment of Louise Hall, Vincent Camerlynck and Christophe Maters as Independent Non-Executive Directors (NEDs). Hall has spent her entire 30-year career within the UK private client and wealth management industry. As an experienced Investment Manager, she fulfilled a number of roles during that period at Investec Wealth and Investment including Head of Charities and Head of London Investment Management and most recently, as a member of the UK board. Camerlynck is an experienced Independent Non-Executive Director, whose current mandates include Capfi Delen Asset Management. Initially focused on investment banking and equities, he held executive positions at Petercam in New York, HSBC in London and Goldman Sachs in London and Paris. He joined BNP Paribas Asset Management in 2005 as member of the Group Exco and Global Head of Business Development and held several senior roles including CEO and Chairman of BNPP AM UK and CEO APAC. Maters joined Ackermans & van Haaren as an Investment Director in May 2023, having previously worked at Bain & Company, Qatar National Bank and Quintet Private Bank. (Lois Vallely, 29/11/2023, Money Marketing, 'JM Finn appoints new non-executive directors to its board')

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.