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Financial Services Newsletter Friday 2nd February 2024

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Financial Services News

Evelyn Partners has reported gross inflows of £2.1bn in Q4 2023 – 50% higher than the same period last year. For the 12 months ended 31 December 2023, the business achieved record gross inflows of £7.8bn compared to £5.4bn in 2022. The business also reported record assets under management and advice (AUMA) of £59.1bn. (Darius McQuaid, Money Marketing, 31/1/2024, 'Evelyn Partners inflows jump 50% to £2.1bn')

National independent financial adviser firm Continuum saw assets under influence rise by almost a quarter (23%) in 2023, ending the year with assets over £1.96bn. The firm also recorded a 15% increase in advisers year-on-year and now has 70 advisers on the books. Income from new business written also rose by 4%, while ongoing recurring income increased by 15% year-on-year. (Darius McQuaid, Money Marketing, 24/1/2024, 'Continuum assets rise by 23% to £1.96bn')

AJ Bell has reported an 8% surge in advised customer numbers in the past year, as they hit 161,000 – up 1% in the latest quarter. In a trading update for the first quarter, the platform said total D2C customer numbers now stand at 323,000 – up 13% in the last year and 2% in the quarter. Overall customer numbers increased by 8,000 to close at 484,000, up 12% in the last year and 2% in the quarter. (Lois Vallely, Money Marketing, 18/1/2024, 'AJ Bell customer numbers continue to surge')

Transact has seen both the number of clients and advisers using its platform increase over the last quarter. Its financial results for the three months ended 31 December 2023 also show record quarter end funds under direction (FUD) of £58bn, up 11% over the past year. In addition, there is now a record number of clients registered on the platform at 231,000, up from 227,000 in Q3 2023. (Dan Cooper, Money Marketing, 16/1/2024, 'Transact sees client and adviser numbers rise')

Titan Wealth Group has rebranded Cardale Asset Management to Titan Private Wealth – an investment management business providing portfolio management to private clients, pension schemes, charities, corporates and intermediaries across the UK. Titan Private Wealth specialises in equity-based investing and has over 2,700 discretionary clients and over £2bn of assets under management. 2023 was the strongest relative year for Titan Private Wealth’s all-equity portfolio at +18.2% compared to ARC (ARC Sterling Equity Risk) at +8%. Since 2009 the firm’s all equity portfolio has grown by over 310% v 169% for ARC. (Lois Vallely, Money Marketing, 17/1/2024, 'Cardale rebrands to Titan Private Wealth and gears up for recruitment drive')

​Three hundred staff in Nationwide Building Society’s Financial Planning service have today completed their move to Aegon UK. The move adds 300 new jobs at Aegon UK and means the creation of a new service, Aegon Financial Planning. The transfer is an extension to a long standing partnership between Aegon UK and Nationwide Building Society and was announced in August 2023. Aegon says the expansion is a “significant step” in Aegon’s ambition to become the “leading digital platform in the UK.” The new Financial Planning arm will work under the umbrella of adviser firm Origen, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aegon UK, and will support Nationwide customers looking for investment products and financial advice. (Financial Planning Today, 01/02/2024, 'Nationwide’s 300 Financial Planning staff move to Aegon')

​St James’s Place’s (SJP) recently appointed CEO has indicated to the company’s partners and analysts that it will not be making more changes to its fee structures following its radical overhaul last year, according to a note from Barclays. Last Friday, 26 January, the advice giant held its annual company meeting, which featured entertainment, awards for its top-performing partners (advisers), and management speeches. This year, SJP also invited sell-side analysts to the meeting and, according to Barclays’ note, CEO Mark FitzPatrick signalled there would not be any more drastic changes to SJP’s fee structure in the coming months. (Jack Gilbert, Citywire, 31/01/2024, 'SJP’s new CEO signals no more fee cuts')

A Rathbones trading update revealed the impact the raft of investment manager exits at Investec Wealth & Investment has had on the business. In the three months to the end of December, Rathbones said a net £300m had left Investec W&I. Rathbones said the outflows reflected the ‘anticipated impact of investment manager departures that predominantly occurred prior to the announcement of the combination with Rathbones’. (Caroline Hug, Citywire, 17/01/2024, 'Rathbones takes £300m hit from Investec W&I exits')

Private equity-owned advice group True Potential has paid out £372.5m to advisers for its 8% offers since Q1 2022. The numbers, which equate to £4.6m per week in 2023, show the scale of the offers being taken up by IFAs, many of whom go on to retire. The money is only paid to advisers on their client assets transferred to True Potential’s proposition (although clients must consent to the transfer). These enormous ‘client onboarding’ costs come as True Potential continues to receive hundreds of millions in funding from issuing high-yield bonds. (Alicja Hagopian, Jack Gilbert, Charles Walmsley, Citywire, 16/01/2024, 'True Potential has paid IFAs £372m for 8% deals since 2022')

Mergers & Acquisitions

​Private equity-backed advice consolidator Progeny has made its first foray into the market this year. The firm has acquired Chartered Wealth Management, lifting assets under management to £9bn. Chartered Wealth Management has offices in Manchester and London and offers financial planning and asset management to high-net-worth individuals. It has a 21-strong team, including nine planners and wealth managers with a collective experience of 170 years.(Dylan Lobo, Citywire, 31/01/2024, 'Progeny hits £9bn with Manchester advice acquisition'

Finli Group, formerly Solomon Capital Holdings, has acquired independent financial-advice firm Clark Gillone. Clark Gillone was founded in 1998 in Scotland and is led by Directors David van der Hoeven and Graham Lennox. The acquisition will further expand Finli’s national presence while providing key regional coverage of Scotland. (Lois Vallely, Money Marketing, 29/1/2024, 'Finli Group buys IFA Clark Gillone')

National advice group Perspective has acquired Colchester-based Park Lane Independent Financial Advisers and the client books of two former Fairstone advisers, boosting its assets under management (AUM) by £190m. The deals, made for an undisclosed sum, bring private equity-backed Perspective’s total assets managed on behalf of clients to £8bn. Former Fairstone Advisers Simon McGechie and Paul Adams bring a combined 265 clients and £55m in AUM to the group. They will work with Perspective for a short period during the handover process. (Zachariah Sharif, Citywire, 5/1/2024, 'Perspective adds £190m with Colchester IFA and ex-Fairstone clients')

The deal means clients will be able to access more diverse and specialist support and services, such as a wider investment proposition. Foster Denovo has completed its acquisition of Punter Southall Aspire’s employee benefits business. It marks the third transaction that the business has completed in the past two months and follows the acquisition of Chartered Financial Planning firm Wade Financial and Hampshire-based firm Creative Financial Solutions in December. Aspire is being brought together with Foster Denovo’s employee benefits division, Secondsight. This will double the size of the team and expand Secondsight’s national coverage to include Edinburgh, Yorkshire and the South West. (Dan Cooper, Money Marketing, 1/2/2024, 'Foster Denovo completes latest acquisition')

7IM has announced that Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has completed its acquisition of a majority stake in the firm from Caledonia Investments. The investment, which was first announced in September, will allow 7IM to “accelerate its strategic growth plans”, which will focus on a combination of organic growth and selective M&A. The investment manager has made a commitment to “enhance its core capabilities and services” for customers and clients. (Lois Vallely, Money Marketing, 18/1/2024, 'Canadian pension fund completes 7IM purchase')

Independent chartered financial planning firm Craven Street Wealth has agreed the transfer in of Punter Southall’s financial-planning division. The transaction boosts the firm’s assets under management (AUM) from £1.2bn to £1.8bn and deepens its presence in the south of England. (Dan Cooper, Money Marketing, 26/1/2024, 'Craven Street Wealth acquires Punter Southall’s financial-planning business')

National advice firm Succession Wealth has acquired Plymouth-based DFP Health & Wealth Management, bringing across £165m in assets under management (AUM). The details of the latest deal have not been disclosed. The IFA is an appointed representative (AR) of the Quilter advice network and leaves a month after another Quilter AR, London-based Amicus Wealth, left the network for 7IM. DFP has been operating for more than 20 years and will bring across 11 planners to Succession. The business filed abbreviated financial statements for 2022 that did not disclose profit or revenue. (Zachariah Sharif, Citywire, 9/1/2024, 'Succession snaps up £165m ex-Quilter AR')

Fintel has completed its acquisition of adviser due diligence tool Synaptic Software, one of six such deals in the past 12 months. It comes as AIM-listed Fintel said it maintained a strong merger and acquisitions pipeline for further acquisitions. The business is backed by a revolving loan facility worth £80m. In a trading update this morning, Fintel said it had completed its acquisition of Synaptic Software for a net upfront cash consideration of £3.5m following FCA approval. The business had announced it was acquiring the software provider in December. (Nicola Blackburn, Citywire, 30/01/2024, 'Fintel seals £3.5m deal for adviser due diligence provider')

Clifton Asset Management has added another financial planning firm to its network as it continues acquiring local firms. Portishead-based Pure Advanced Financial Planning – now Clifton Wealth Partnership (Portishead) – joined Clifton as an appointed representative (AR) earlier this month. Run by Alison Davis and Adrian James, the AR brings £75m assets under advice and 320 clients under the Clifton umbrella. As an AR, the firm will take on the Clifton tech stack, proprietary back-office system and client portal. Client assets will be moved to its white-label platform and discretionary fund manager (DFM) ‘if suitable’ - for example, if it is a lower cost alternative and does not add tax for the end client, according to Clifton. (Victoria Bell, Citywire, 26/01/2024, 'Clifton adds £75m Portishead-based firm to advice network')

Novia, now rebranded as Wealthtime, is exploring a move into vertical integration by acquiring advice firms for the first time. The private equity-owned wrap platform is looking at buying distribution as part of a 12- to 18-month-long project, a source familiar with the plans said. Its Chief Executive Patrick Mill confirmed the platform is exploring opportunities for vertical integration. "We’re an ambitious business, one that is looking to grow. We have a number of potential opportunities that could support our growth and evolution that we may explore,’ Mill said. (Victoria Bell, Citywire, 26/01/2024, 'Novia/Wealthtime eyes advice acquisitions for first time')

Söderberg & Partners has bought a minority stake in Bath-based advice group Fidelius, which has about £2bn in assets under advice. Private equity-backed Swedish wealth giant Söderberg & Partners entered the UK market last year with deals to buy stakes in six advice firms. This was after US private equity firm KKR provided €200m (£172m) in funding last June. Details of the amount exchanged for the stake – described as a ‘significant minority’ – were not disclosed. (Zachariah Sharif, Jack Gilbert, Citywire, 19/01/2024, 'Nordic giant Söderberg secures minority stake in £2bn Bath IFA')

In further news...Söderberg & Partners has taken minority stakes in two more advice firms as it continues to make its mark in the UK financial services space. The group has made an investment in London wealth management firm Vintage, which gives Söderberg & Partners a stake in the company in exchange for an undisclosed sum. Vintage is a London based group of financial services businesses offering full-service advice to both the corporate and personal market. The group of companies includes wealth management with over £1.1bn in funds under management. Söderberg & Partners has also made an investment in PK Financial, a Croydon-based IFA. PK Financial, led by Directors Prakash Patel and Jonathan Kelly, offers independent professional advice to companies and individuals representing £150m funds under management. (Dan Cooper, Money Marketing, 8/1/2024, 'Söderberg & Partners acquires stakes in two more UK advice firms')


Evelyn Partners has strengthened its presence in the South of England with the appointment of Matt Dickens as Financial Planning Director. He previously spent over a decade at The Ingenious Group, a Specialist Investment Manager. Prior to Ingenious, Dickens also held portfolio-management positions at Close Wealth Management and Fisher Wealth Management. (Darius McQuaid, Money Marketing, 29/1/2024, 'Evelyn Partners hires financial-planning director to boost South of England presence')

In further news...Evelyn Partners has hired former Brooks Macdonald investing boss Edward Park in a role overseeing its core investment proposition. Park will become Chief Asset Management Officer at the private equity-backed wealth manager, as well as part of its senior leadership team. Park’s departure from Brooks Macdonald after 15 years – having worked his way up from a trainee to chief investment officer (CIO), was revelead earlier in January. (Jeremy Gordon, Citywire, 2/2/2024, 'Evelyn Partners hires ex-Brooks Macdonald CIO Edward Park')

​IFA firm Ascot Lloyd is starting a search for its next Chief Executive (CEO) to succeed Nigel Stockton who is stepping down. Stockton, who has been the firm's CEO since September 2015, will remain in the role while overseeing the transition and appointment of his successor. He will also remain as a significant shareholder. During his tenure, he oversaw the firm's rebrand from Bellpenny to Ascot Lloyd in 2017 and Nordic Capital's purchase of the firm in 2022. (Isabel Baxter, Professional Adviser, 01/02/2024, 'Ascot Lloyd begins search for CEO as Nigel Stockton exits')

Sedulo Group has appointed a National Head of Transaction Services who joins from KPMG. During his 20 years at KPMG, Logan Rowan led work on a number of high-profile transactions in the UK market including Advent International Corporation's £4bn acquisition of Cobham and its £2.6bn acquisition of Ultra Electronics, plus the acquisition of Elysium Healthcare by BC Partners. He also brings significant European market experience, advising on a number of large cross-border deals such as Zentiva’s acquisition of Alvogen’s CEE business, several significant complex carve-outs and vendor due diligence projects and IPOs. His appointment comes off the back of a stellar year for Sedulo Group, which reported record results in 2023 with further double-digit growth predicted for 2024. (Laurence Kilgannon, Insider Media, 29/01/2024, 'Sedulo bolsters dealmaking team with marquee recruit')

Atomos has appointed four Senior Executives to new roles in a financial planning shake-up, with current Wealth Planning Head Elliott Silk to leave the firm in June. The financial planning management team will be led by former Chief Operating Officer Niral Parekh, who has been appointed Managing Director of Financial Planning. Supporting Parekh will be former Head of Women’s Financial Advice Helen Howcroft, who becomes Financial Planning Private Client Director. Atomos’s former Wealth Planning Deputy Head Ian Martin becomes National Director of Financial Planning. Financial planning business manager Dawn Mealing becomes Financial Planning Proposition Director. (Caroline Hug, Citywire, 26/01/2024, 'Atomos appoints four executives in financial planning shake-up')

​Three advisers from Abrdn Financial Planning have left to launch a new advice firm within Quilter’s network. Scott Moore, Euan Brown and Ross Hunter worked at Ayrshire-based The Munro Partnership, which in 2016 was one of the first advice firms acquired by 1825, Standard Life’s advice arm (Standard Life later changed its name to Abrdn). The adviser trio’s new firm is called Juniper Financial Planning and is based in Prestwick in Ayrshire. It sits within Quilter’s advice network Quilter Financial Planning. The advisers left Abrdn last November. (Zachariah Sharif, Citywire, 30/01/2024, 'Abrdn adviser trio exit to launch Quilter network firm')

Quilter Cheviot has appointed Caroline Simmons as its new Chief Investment Officer. Simmons joins from UBS Global Wealth Management, where she has been Chief Investment Officer of its UK wealth-management business since 2020. She worked for UBS for 20 years in various roles, including as a Fund and then Equity Analyst, an equity strategist and more recently as Deputy Head of its UK investment office, prior to becoming CIO (UK). (Dan Cooper, Money Marketing, 25/1/2024, 'Quilter Cheviot appoints new chief investment officer')

In further news...Quilter has hired Craig Ross from Sesame Bankhall as Head of Adviser Propositions. He will take a leading role in the company’s push for adviser platform business. Ross, who was an Adviser before developing adviser propositions for wealth managers Standard Life Aberdeen and Charles Stanley, will report to Quilter’s Commercial Proposition Director, Jenny Davidson. As well as taking the platform to advisers, Ross will also be responsible for designing and developing Quilter’s adviser investment proposition. (Charles Walmsley, Citywire, 12/01/2024, 'Quilter hires adviser proposition head in platform push')

Financial-advice firm One Financial Solutions (OFS) has strengthened its team with three senior appointments to support its expansion. Steve Ayers joins as Business Growth and Acquisition Director. He has worked in financial services for over 30 years and has held senior roles at HSBC, Lloyds, Smart Pensions and, latterly, Penfold. Richard Hamilton has been appointed as Proposition Director. He previously held senior roles at HSBC, Lloyds, Schroders Personal Wealth and an SJP practice. As Private Clients Director, Daniel Barnes will design and implement a new proposition for HNW and UHNW clients. He will also assume the role of Chief Investment Officer and retain his own clients. He has held senior positions at HSBC, Barclays, Irwin Mitchell and Credit Suisse. In addition to these external appointments, OFS has also announced two internal promotions. Paul Keeley is now Strategic Partnership Director and is responsible for ensuring that OFS’ strategic partnerships with introducers remain strong while the business expands. Stephen McMahon, who joined OFS seven years ago, has also been promoted to Strategic Partnership Director. (Lois Vallely, Money Marketing, 31/1/2024, 'One Financial Solutions hires three senior managers to drive growth')

Former professional footballer Matthew Fry has left Brooks Macdonald for rival Rathbones. Fry joins Rathbones’ London office as an Investment Director after a six-year stint with Brooks. He joined Brooks in 2017 as a Trainee Investment Manager after his footballing career, during which he played for several clubs, including Charlton Athletic, West Ham, Bradford City and York City, came to an end. Rathbones confirmed Fry will be joining the company. His signing comes a few months after the firm combined with Investec Wealth & Investment and follows the September exit of London Investment Director David Blake, who left the business for Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management UK. (Caroline Hug, Citywire, 8/1/2024, 'Brooks Macdonald’s ex-football pro seals Rathbones transfer')

National advice business Saltus has appointed Alistair Stuart as Chief Operating Officer (COO) with an eye on driving more sign-ups to its recently launched adviser partnership programme. Stuart replaces Nick Stebbing, who left the business at the end of last year. Stuart was most recently Director of Operations Transformation at Nationwide Building Society and has formerly held roles at RBS, the European Depositary Bank and Investec. Stuart joined Investec Australia as COO of its private banking business in 2013 for a short period, and later worked as COO in London from 2016 to 2020, according to LinkedIn. (Nicola Blackburn, Citywire, 8/1/2024, 'Saltus appoints COO to drive adviser partnership numbers')

National advice group One Four Nine has appointed the former CEO of wealth manager Stonehage Fleming, Chris Merry, as its first Chair. Merry will guide One Four Nine’s strategic direction and future growth, working closely with the private equity-backed advice group’s board of directors. The appointment comes after One Four Nine received an undisclosed amount of private equity capital from Copper Street Capital to fund a target of 18 acquisitions by 2026. Merry joins One Four Nine following a four-year stint as CEO of national wealth manager Stonehage Fleming, from which he stepped down last August, according to LinkedIn. (Nicola Blackburn, Citywire, 01/02/2024, 'One Four Nine appoints ex-Stonehage Fleming CEO as chair')

Brooks Macdonald has promoted Richard Larner and Michael Toolan to joint Chief Investment Officers (CIOs). The pair replace Edward Park, who is to leave after 15 years with the firm. Collectively, Larner and Toolan have 35 years of experience with Brooks. Larner, who is Head of Research, joined from Spearpoint in 2012. Toolan joined Brooks in 1999 and is a Senior Portfolio Director. Brooks has also appointed former HSBC CIO Philip Glaze as Chair of the business’s investment committee. (Caroline Hug, Citywire, 31/02/2024, 'Brooks Macdonald names two CIOs to replace Park')

Raymond James Wealth Management (RJWM), the recently combined UK financial planning business launched by Raymond James and Charles Stanley, has announced two key senior appointments. Francesca Hampton joins as Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Sandy Kinney Pritchard joins as an Independent Non-Executive Director and Chair of the board of RJWM. Hampton replaces current Charles Stanley CFO Ben Money-Coutts, who is stepping down from his role and retiring later this year. Hampton, who has 25 years of experience in the industry, joins the business from Cynergy Bank, a specialist bank for business owners, property entrepreneurs and family businesses, where she has been CFO for seven years. Pritchard has held non-executive director roles at eight financial institutions and one regulatory body over the past 20 years. (Caroline Hug, Citywire, 23/01/2024, 'Exclusive: Raymond James UK advice arm appoints CFO and new chair')

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has appointed Matthew Hill as CEO after Alan Vallance stepped down last year amid an ongoing battle with some members of adviser body the Personal Finance Society (PFS). Hill will join in early April, with Chief Customer Officer Gill White continuing to work as acting CEO until then. Hill is currently CEO of the Legal Services Board, which regulates solicitors in the UK. (Zachariah Sharif, Citywire, 15/01/2024, 'CII appoints new CEO to replace Vallance')

Wealth manager Mattioli Woods has cut several jobs as it restructures its investment proposition. The cuts follow the firm’s decision to select T Rowe Price to develop its income-focused model portfolio. T Rowe Price’s Multi-Asset Solutions EMEA Head, Yoram Lustig, and Multi-Asset Solutions Strategist, Michael Walsh, now serve as Investment Advisers on the model, working with Dan Cheeseman, who in November was hired by Mattioli Woods as Managing Director of its client investment solutions. (Caroline Hug, Citywire, 26/01/2024, 'Revealed: Mattioli Woods cuts jobs in investment restructure')

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