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Financial Services

Exceptional people make exceptional businesses
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  • ​“Rehana was one of 5 recruiters to try and offer me a job, but was the only one to actually ask me about where I’d like to work and genuinely listened. She used her contacts and experience within the industry to land me the exact job I wanted, with the company I’ve wanted to work for, for a long time - so her results speak for themself. Rehana was a dream to work with from start to finish and if I ever decide to move jobs in the future I will look no further than her.”

    Rehana Sadiq, Senior Consultant Financial Services
    Rehana Sadiq, Senior Consultant Financial Services
  • ​“Thank you for all your help, Louise! Must say I’m very impressed with you and the way you have been so on the ball and efficient. I have registered with a few recruitment services and not one of them got back to me after my initial contact, but you have been amazing!”

    Louise Bibb, Regional Manager Financial Services
    Louise Bibb, Regional Manager Financial Services
  • ​“Lynn was amazing and had me set up with interviews within a day or two. I wouldn’t have managed this myself and I am so very grateful for all of her help and support during this process.”

    Lynn Wilson, Senior Consultant Financial Services
    Lynn Wilson, Senior Consultant Financial Services
  • "​Ashlea spent three years trying to contact me - that is tenacity!! It paid off because when I was ready to leave my job her name was very familiar to me, so I was happy to have a chat. She does her homework and does not try to fit a round circle into a square hole. She actually takes time and care in selecting the right candidates for the roles she has and therefore both parties are happy with the outcome. She was incredibly professional and responsive making sure that the interview and enrolment process was moving forwards quickly. She builds rapport easily and consequently, I find her very easy to talk to. Would highly recommend. Thank you Ashlea - I am happy to be working again!"

    Ashlea Walton, Client Director Financial Services
    Ashlea Walton, Client Director Financial Services
  • ​"I can't thank Alison MacMillan enough for her dedication and professionalism in helping me to secure a fantastic new role with one of the top companies in the UK. Friendly and approachable, she has been extremely supportive throughout the whole journey.She is extremely proactive, knowledgeable, polite, and supportive. She has a genuinely positive, can-do attitude and worked with me to better understand the roles that I was genuinely interested in - rather than blindly sending lists of unsuitable vacancies. Highly recommend."

    Alison MacMillan, Executive Director Financial Services
    Alison MacMillan, Executive Director Financial Services
  • ​"I can't thank Alex enough for the support and encouragement he gave me to secure my new job role. He really listened to what I was looking for, matched me with a great opportunity, and coached me throughout the application/interview process. Alex is professional yet approachable and would highly recommend him to anyone looking for work in Financial Services."

    Alex Merrick, Business Manager Financial Services
    Alex Merrick, Business Manager Financial Services
Risk & Compliance

Risk & Compliance

Our Risk & Compliance consultants know how difficult it is to attract highly skilled professionals who understand the complexities of the risk, compliance and regulatory market. They have ove...

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LATEST JOBS Financial Services

Pensions Administrator

Manchester
£30000 - £35000 per annum

IDEX Consulting is working exclusively with one of the UK's leading pension consulting firms in the search for a Pensions Administrator in their DB schemes team. The role has arisen due to continued growth and recent external investment. This firm has an excellent staff retention rate, clear progression plans and opportunities in different teams, so you can future proof your career. They also offer a market leading financial & benefits package. You will build a portfolio of clients to which you will manage all the transactions needed for their pension schemes, ensuring they are completed to the highest standards, within the service levels. You will become key contact to pension members and your clients answering queries over the phone and via written communication and attending Trustee meetings. Key Requirements Broad pension's technical knowledge, with at least three years' experience working in a Defined Benefit pension administration environment and with a detailed understanding of defined benefit pensions schemes and UK pensions legislation, regulation and codes of practice. Knowledge of systems e.g. Microsoft Office/ Windows applications. Experience in managing ad-hoc and annual pension projects Excellent communication skills both written and oral with the ability to articulate and communicate current and relevant issues to scheme members; pension trustees; and other relevant third parties. Experience of working pro-actively and using own initiative to complete tasks. The ability to perform in a fast-moving environment providing excellent service to clients and third parties with a desire to succeed at accomplishing challenging objectives. Desirable Knowledge of and experience with GMP Reconciliation / Equalisation calculations Practical knowledge of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) Visit the IDEX Consulting Ltd website for further opportunities. Please note that the information supplied may be retained for up to 10 years for use in connection with future vacancies. For full information on how we use your data, please visit the IDEX Consulting website and view our Privacy Policy. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mission At IDEX, we strive for an inclusion-first company culture where everyone is treated fairly and can bring their authentic selves to work. We recognise and acknowledge that diverse representation at every level of our business requires continuous and measurable effort. We are committed to driving conscious inclusion across our business and creating equitable pathways.

Apply now

Senior Pension Administrator

Manchester
£35000 - £38000 per annum

IDEX Consulting is working exclusively with one of the UK's leading pension consulting firms in the search for a Senior Pension Administrator in their DB schemes team. The role has arisen due to continued growth and recent external investment. This firm has an excellent staff retention rate, clear progression plans and opportunities in different teams, so you can future proof your career. They also offer a market leading financial & benefits package. You will be responsible for administering and leading on a portfolio of DB schemes, acting as the client relationship manager. You will check colleagues work, manage workflow and train/develop the junior staff. If you are an experienced Senior DB Pension Administrator, or a Pension Administrator looking to step up, then please get in touch for more information. Key Requirements Broad pension's technical knowledge, experience working in a Defined Benefit pension administration environment and with a detailed understanding of defined benefit pensions schemes and UK pensions legislation, regulation and codes of practice Knowledge of systems e.g. Microsoft Office/ Windows applications Experience in managing ad-hoc and annual pension projects Excellent communication skills both written and oral with the ability to articulate and communicate current and relevant issues to scheme members; pension trustees; and other relevant third parties Experience of working pro-actively and using own initiative to complete tasks. The ability to perform in a fast-moving environment providing excellent service to clients and third parties with a desire to succeed at accomplishing challenging objectives Desirable Knowledge of and experience with GMP Reconciliation / Equalisation calculations Practical knowledge of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) Visit the IDEX Consulting Ltd website for further opportunities. Please note that the information supplied may be retained for up to 10 years for use in connection with future vacancies. For full information on how we use your data, please visit the IDEX Consulting website and view our Privacy Policy. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mission At IDEX, we strive for an inclusion-first company culture where everyone is treated fairly and can bring their authentic selves to work. We recognise and acknowledge that diverse representation at every level of our business requires continuous and measurable effort. We are committed to driving conscious inclusion across our business and creating equitable pathways.

Apply now

Pensions Administrator

Manchester
£25000 - £30000 per annum

I am currently looking for an experienced Pension Administrator to join a global pensions consultancy who are in the midst of an exciting transition / growth phase. The ideal candidate will preferably need experience in administering defined benefit pension schemes, and will need to be progressing with a PMI (Pensions Management Institute) accreditation or be willing to pursue. Responsibilities: Execute pension administration tasks meticulously, maintaining strict adherence to internal protocols and company policies. Craft correspondence and reports with utmost precision and attention to detail. Efficiently manage incoming and outgoing post to facilitate seamless organizational workflows. Collaborate closely with consultants/account managers, providing essential documentation to support their duties. Ensure prompt processing of client work within designated timelines, effectively prioritizing tasks to uphold service level agreements. Provide valuable support to team members as needed and assist the Team Leader in their duties. Address non-standard client/member queries with professionalism and efficiency. Assume day-to-day client responsibilities under guidance, ensuring fulfillment of client expectations and contractual obligations. Conduct thorough peer reviews of own work as necessary to uphold quality standards. Complete assigned tasks promptly, maintaining compliance with internal and external deadlines. Visit the IDEX Consulting Ltd website for further opportunities. Please note that the information supplied may be retained for up to 10 years for use in connection with future vacancies. For full information on how we use your data, please visit the IDEX Consulting website and view our Privacy Policy. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mission At IDEX, we strive for an inclusion-first company culture where everyone is treated fairly and can bring their authentic selves to work. We recognise and acknowledge that diverse representation at every level of our business requires continuous and measurable effort. We are committed to driving conscious inclusion across our business and creating equitable pathways.

Apply now

Principal Pension Administrator

Manchester
£30000 - £42000 per annum

I am currently looking for a number of experienced Principal Pension Administrator to join a global pensions consultancy who are in the midst of an exciting transition / growth phase. The Principal Pension Administrators will report directly to the CSD Team Managers and be responsible for managing 2 senior administrators and up to 4 administrators. The ideal candidate needs to have experience as a Senior Pensions Administrator and be CPC qualified or be willing to pursue a PMI (Pensions Management Institute) accreditation. Responsibilities: Responsible for up to 5 staff Supervise, train and mentor staff Carry out complex pension administration tasks, including overseeing the management of treasury and payroll in accordance. Managing and coordinating the delivery of specific workloads Checking reports Managing complaints and errors Check and authorise administrators work Management of trustee bank accounts and investment of contributions. Management of pensioner payrolls and pension increases. Provide support to the team leader by assisting team members. Visit the IDEX Consulting Ltd website for further opportunities. Please note that the information supplied may be retained for up to 10 years for use in connection with future vacancies. For full information on how we use your data, please visit the IDEX Consulting website and view our Privacy Policy. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mission At IDEX, we strive for an inclusion-first company culture where everyone is treated fairly and can bring their authentic selves to work. We recognise and acknowledge that diverse representation at every level of our business requires continuous and measurable effort. We are committed to driving conscious inclusion across our business and creating equitable pathways.

Apply now

Financial Planner

Kent
£55000.00 - £65000.00 per annum + Benefits + Bonus

A high performing Financial Planning organisation are looking to bolster their team in Kent with an important Financial Advisor hire. This particular opportunity is quite unique for the following reasons: You will be working closely with an extremely experienced Financial Advisor who has a large/high income portfolio of high net worth private clients You will work in collaboration with this adviser to facilitate a hand over of their clients to you over an 18 month / 2 year period There is extremely high earning potential in this book of business but also a fantastic opportunity to develop new business from it and enhance your earnings further. What we are looking for in an applicant: Experienced financial planner who can demonstrate year on year high performance and retention of clients and new business development Technical product knowledge and experience of dealing with high net worth clients across the full product range including investments, pensions, tax and trusts Someone happy to see clients in their homes/businesses and the office. This is not a desk based advisor role! You must be willing to be a patient whilst the transition from the current advisor to you takes place. The rewards are there if you are! The client experience is everything - you must be ethical, personable, knowledgeable and always focusing on the best client outcomes at all times This is genuinely a rare opportunity and one not to be missed. Alongside all of the above you will also be working for an award winning Financial Planning business with full paraplanning, admin and compliance support which leaves you to do what you do best. If this role in Kent interests you please apply or contact me confidentially for a discreet and informal chat about the opportunity. Visit the IDEX Consulting Ltd website for further opportunities. Please note that the information supplied may be retained for up to 10 years for use in connection with future vacancies. For full information on how we use your data, please visit the IDEX Consulting website and view our Privacy Policy. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mission At IDEX, we strive for an inclusion-first company culture where everyone is treated fairly and can bring their authentic selves to work. We recognise and acknowledge that diverse representation at every level of our business requires continuous and measurable effort. We are committed to driving conscious inclusion across our business and creating equitable pathways.

Apply now

Financial Coach / Trainee Advisor

Cardiff
£35000.00 - £40000.00 per annum + Bonus

I am working with a National client who has a pathway for a Level 4 qualified individual. Initially working within their financial coaching team providing guidance to clients who have questions or queries regarding investments and pensions held on their self invest platform. The platform has c.80k clients varying from regular savers to multi million pound investment holders. With the opportunity to learn on the job, sit in on advisory appointments, understand back office systems and processes whilst still liaising with clients, is a tremendous introduction to a career as an Advisor. There is ample opportunity to progress from the coaching team to advisory with 3 having moved over the last 9 months. Progression, training and development is very important to the business. If you already hold the Level 4 qualification and this has piqued your interest, apply more details. Visit the IDEX Consulting Ltd website for further opportunities. Please note that the information supplied may be retained for up to 10 years for use in connection with future vacancies. For full information on how we use your data, please visit the IDEX Consulting website and view our Privacy Policy. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mission At IDEX, we strive for an inclusion-first company culture where everyone is treated fairly and can bring their authentic selves to work. We recognise and acknowledge that diverse representation at every level of our business requires continuous and measurable effort. We are committed to driving conscious inclusion across our business and creating equitable pathways.

Apply now

Financial Coach / Trainee Advisor

Bristol
£35000.00 - £40000.00 per annum + Bonus

I am working with a National client who has a pathway for a Level 4 qualified individual. Initially working within their financial coaching team providing guidance to clients who have questions or queries regarding investments and pensions held on their self invest platform. The platform has c.80k clients varying from regular savers to multi million pound investment holders. With the opportunity to learn on the job, sit in on advisory appointments, understand back office systems and processes whilst still liaising with clients, is a tremendous introduction to a career as an Advisor. There is ample opportunity to progress from the coaching team to advisory with 3 having moved over the last 9 months. Progression, training and development is very important to the business. If you already hold the Level 4 qualification and this has piqued your interest, apply more details. Visit the IDEX Consulting Ltd website for further opportunities. Please note that the information supplied may be retained for up to 10 years for use in connection with future vacancies. For full information on how we use your data, please visit the IDEX Consulting website and view our Privacy Policy. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mission At IDEX, we strive for an inclusion-first company culture where everyone is treated fairly and can bring their authentic selves to work. We recognise and acknowledge that diverse representation at every level of our business requires continuous and measurable effort. We are committed to driving conscious inclusion across our business and creating equitable pathways.

Apply now

Admin Manager

Spalding
£30000.00 - £35000.00 per annum + benefits package

A high performing Independent Financial Planning Practice in the Spalding area are looking for a key hire to contribute to the success of the growing financial planning administration team. We require an experienced Admin Team Leader with strong knowledge within financial planning practices to contribute to the next part of their ambitious growth plans. The Role: Manage the day-to-day workload of the admin team to ensure positive client outcomes are achieved whilst maintaining accurate records and producing regular management information. Setting clear goals, delegate tasks and set deadlines based on individual team members' strengths and skills. Regularly review processes and procedures involving team members and encouraging open participation, to ensure maximum efficiency. Handle, review and report client complaints following agreed company procedures to ensure FCA compliance Carry out regular performance reviews and 1:1 meetings with individual staff members to ensure appropriate guidance, support and training needs are addressed. Sustain team morale, praise, reward and recognise individual and team achievements in line with company policy. Keep your own knowledge and skills regularly updated and ensure compulsory training completed in timely way to keep team up to date with latest regulatory requirements and industry standards. Experience required: You must have excellent experience working within support functions in a regulated financial planning practice. Broad product knowledge across the full advice spectrum including investments, pensions, and life products. Demonstrable skills within team leader/management within a financial planning practice. Keen to develop in the role as the company grows. Please apply or contact me directly to discuss in further detail. Visit the IDEX Consulting Ltd website for further opportunities. Please note that the information supplied may be retained for up to 10 years for use in connection with future vacancies. For full information on how we use your data, please visit the IDEX Consulting website and view our Privacy Policy. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mission At IDEX, we strive for an inclusion-first company culture where everyone is treated fairly and can bring their authentic selves to work. We recognise and acknowledge that diverse representation at every level of our business requires continuous and measurable effort. We are committed to driving conscious inclusion across our business and creating equitable pathways.

Apply now

LATEST CONTENT

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New Website Blog Thumbnails (2) blog
2024 Risk & Compliance market outlook

​We spoke to Jack Johnson, Business Director, about the Risk, Governance and Compliance market. Jack shares his thoughts below on current market trends, factors affecting hiring, in demand roles and skills, and what businesses and professionals need to be aware of, for the remainder of the year.For advice on the Risk, Governance and Compliance market, support with your hiring strategy or guidance on finding a new role, contact Jack. What specific trends have you seen in your market?The Consumer Duty deadline (July 31st) meant there was a big push for conduct risk professionals in the market, we also saw Lloyd’s clients opening up their searches to retail P&C professionals. Although M&A in insurance was down last year, we have seen a spike in compliance and risk professionals with M&A experience, particularly from a policy and framework perspective. This could be due to the activity of 2022 having a knock-on impact on the market.Salaries in the industry have slowed down post the COVID boom. Although we are still seeing competitive counter offers, we are also now starting to see professionals move roles laterally or for smaller wage increases, which was not the case during COVID. Counter-offers are a short-term fix for a long-term problem with many candidates registered with IDEX, having accepted counter offers in the last two years.What factors have affected talent attraction and retention in the past 12 months?Back to work policies remain a focus for employers. There is a push for a more structured hybrid working model, with businesses enforcing on average two days in the office, and three working from home. Some businesses have gone further with three to four days in the office.Post the COVID boom, there was always going to be a slightly quieter market. We are now seeing the importance more so than ever, of proactive resources. With direct applications reducing in number and quality, the majority of placements are now through proactive sourcing methods.Which roles are most likely to be in demand and why?Roles in technology and automation are still high in demand. Whether that’s to support the automation of polices or the new risks associated with cyber and technology risk. This will remain a growth area for the industry. As consumer duty continues to impact businesses and associated roles remain important, professionals with strong conduct experience will remain in demand. What skills are in-demand for professionals wanting to work in this market?Professionals with project exposure are always in demand. With businesses going through large transformation projects, organic growth or through M&A, clients are often looking for experienced professionals who can deliver on risk and compliance policy changes. This is also replicated with the heighted focus on regulation.What do clients and professionals need to be aware of throughout the remainder of 2024?You will often hear the phrase ‘talent shortage’ or ‘war for talent’. I would disagree with these statements and say there is some exceptional talent in the market, but you just have to be looking in the right places, making sure you have the most attractive proposition in the market. It is very competitive, so you need to have the smoothest processes and the slickest onboarding offering to attract the best candidates.For professionals it’s important to be flexible and prepared for every interview.Counter-offers are rife but always remember why you were initially thinking of leaving. In any sort of exit from a business everyone is considering their own options, so make sure you do what is best for you and not what is going to make your boss’ life easier in the short term. About JackJack leads our Risk, Governance and Compliance division for IDEX, recruiting Risk, Actuarial and Compliance professionals across the UK and internationally. He has an excellent network of candidates and clients in the Insurance (Broker, Lloyds, P&C and Life Insurance) and Financial Services (Wealth, Asset Management and Financial Planning) industry.For advice on the Risk, Governance and Compliance market, support with your hiring strategy or guidance on finding a new role, contact Jack.  ​

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New Website Blog Thumbnails (1) financial services
2024 Wealth Management Advisory market outlook

As the Wealth Management sector grapples with a challenging economic climate, political uncertainty, and the need to deliver exceptional levels of personalisation through generative AI, we spoke to Alex Merrick, Business and Regional Manager about changing business expectations and in demand roles and skills. Having worked in the sector for over 20 years, first as a Financial Advisor, Alex has in-depth knowledge of the market and how businesses can stay competitive to attract the best talent.For advice on the Wealth Management Advisory market, support with your hiring strategy or guidance on finding a new role, contact Alex.What specific trends have you seen in your market?Over the past 12 months Financial planning recruitment was steady but as time went on, we saw a slowdown. Demand for Chartered Advisors continues as does businesses looking for talent that can bring AUM and clients with them. 48% of FP’s earn a basic salary of £80k+ in 2023 compared to 30% in 2022.What factors have affected talent attraction and retention in the past 12 months?Increased flexibility in work arrangements is still a big factor when it comes to talent attraction and retention. Companies that offer hybrid working options will have greater success in hiring and retaining talent than those who are moving back to office working. Fluctuating market conditions and economic uncertainty / slowdown seems to have significantly impacted recruitment, with companies more likely to spread work between other employees as the belt gets tightened.Consumer duty which was rolled out in the middle of 2023, has placed an increased burden on financial service businesses to ensure they are complying with new regulations, resource and budget requirements.The financial services sector has a laser focus on transformation. Incumbents face an uncertain macroeconomic market environment, sustained pressure from regulators, growing concerns related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and disruption from platforms (including embedded finance) and FinTech’s. Technology and generative AI will likely lead to more disruption for the sector. All this is creating an even more urgent need for financial service companies to consider more transformational steps towards digitalisation, ESG, and portfolio optimisation.Which roles are most likely to be in demand?Trainee IFA’s. With the average age of a financial planner over 55 and an expectation from reports complied by FT Advisor that two thirds of these will retire within the next five years, there is a big onus on recruiting new talent into the industry. There has been significant growth in academies being set up inhouse as wealth management firms seek to bring in graduates and nurture their own talent, due to a shortage of planners in the industry.Chartered Advisors remain in demand as firms look to this status level to differentiate themselves from competitors.What skills are in-demand for professionals wanting to work in this market?The implementation of AI and the benefits that this could offer is a hot topic, however the value of face-to-face advice will remain an integral part of the consultancy process. The industry is moving rapidly away from ‘transactional’ business towards lifestyle modelling. Combining technical expertise with strong interpersonal skills, as well as being technologically proficient are key skills for candidates as the industry moves forward.What do clients and professionals need to be aware of for the remainder of 2024?We see a positive growth and recruitment outlook for the remainder of 2024, following a period of uncertainty due to the 2023 consumer duty changes and hike in costs.Clients, if looking to hire, should prioritise conducting recruitment in a timely and efficient manner. Strong candidates are likely to have multiple options and the interview process needs to be slick and streamlined. Time kills deals!Professionals need to be aware that although salaries have continued to rise over the last few years, there is a noticeable slowdown in the levels of basic pay. It’s advisable that people consider working towards a chartered status.About AlexPrior to working in recruitment, Alex was a Financial Adviser for 16 years. He started his career advising clients and businesses in the Bancassurance market and then worked in an IFA role. Alex has a great understanding of the Financial Services sector which enables him to provide specialist advice and knowledge to clients and candidates.For advice on the Wealth Management Advisory market, support with your hiring strategy or guidance on finding a new role, contact Alex.

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2024 Wealth Management market outlook

​We spoke to Alison MacMillan, Head of Wealth Scotland, about the Wealth Management market. Alison shares her thoughts below on current market trends, factors affecting hiring, in-demand roles and skills, and what businesses and professionals need to be prepared for, for the rest of this year. For advice on the Financial Services market, support with your hiring strategy or guidance on finding a new role, contact Alison. What specific trends have you seen in your market?The market continues to be very busy with new roles and many people are still looking for something better with a higher salary. The employers who are successfully filling roles are the ones who are acting quickly and don’t have lengthy recruitment processes. Attractive benefits, such as good holiday allowances, private healthcare and pension contributions, seem to be at the top of the priority list for professionals who are looking for a new role.What factors have affected talent attraction and retention in the past 12 months?With COVID we missed two years of entry level candidates which is still affecting the amount of current talent available. There are less IFA administrators and less people have become paraplanners. Firms who are insisting on more days in the office are also missing out, as the workforce continues to request hybrid or fully remote working.Whilst the market has remained fairly flat, many firms have not been expanding but in some instances the ‘great resignation’ is still a factor since people are looking for higher salaries elsewhere, as the cost-of-living crisis continues.Which roles are in-demand and why?IFA administrators and paraplanners are in high-demand, as there are so many employers looking for these professionals in a restricted talent pool. There is currently a shortage of trainee IFA roles which is going to be a problem in a few years’ time as the average age of an adviser in the UK is 59 and there is not enough financial advisers.What skills are in-demand for professionals wanting to work in this market?IFA experience continues to be extremely important, especially for those people who hold a level 4 diploma in regulated Financial Services.What do clients and professionals need to be prepared for, for the rest of the year?Clients and professionals need to be aware of counter offers, salary inflation, the importance of hybrid and remote working, these will all continue to be factors people prioritise in their working lives.There seems to be green shoots of growth for companies looking to expand further, so the need for new talent will continue to be essential.Consolidation of IFA practices is huge just now but it doesn’t seem to have slowed the job market down. If anything, it has increased movement, as many people seek alternative employment when the company they work for has been bought by someone else.About AlisonAlison has worked in Financial Services recruitment in Scotland since 2002 and is a fellow of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation. Her experience ranges from senior appointments within the IFA markets to running projects for pension consultancies and compliance firms. Alison looks after technical financial services roles and is passionate at providing a high level of service to her clients and candidates. 

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Financial Services Newsletter Friday 1st March 2024

Financial Services News​Following the dramatic share price dive of St James’s Place (SJP), the wealth management giant risks being dropped from the FTSE 100. FTSE Russell confirmed yesterday evening that Endeavor Mining had been shunted in its latest reshuffle, making room for EasyJet. The changes will come into effect on 18 March. Notably, the rebalancing happened before SJP’s share price fall of more than 20% on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of £2.8bn, some way behind Endeavor’s £3.1bn valuation. (John Schaffer, 29/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'St James’s Place risks being booted from FTSE 100')​Quilter has made its £14bn model portfolio services (MPS) range available to the wider advice market for the first time as it looks to bring in flows from other advisers. The WealthSelect portfolios are now available on three external adviser platforms: the Morningstar platform, Parmenion and the M&G Wealth platform. They were previously available only on Quilter’s platform. (Nicola Blackburn, 29/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Quilter puts MPS on third-party platforms for first time')Abrdn’s financial planning business almost halved in value in 2023 as the asset manager wrote down its advice arm again and revealed it had cut a fifth of jobs in the division. The value of Abrdn Financial Planning fell to £45m, down from £85m at the end of December 2022. The value was measured by the fair value less cost of disposal, an accounting measure. The loss was partly due to an impairment of £36m on Abrdn’s financial planning arm, £23m of which was recognised last June. This impairment was due to ‘lower markets and macroeconomic conditions and the impact of business restructuring’. (Nicola Blackburn, 27/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Abrdn reveals a fifth of advice jobs cut and 50% write-down')St James’s Place (SJP) Co-Founder Jacob Rothschild has died. Rothschild, who was 87, set up SJP in 1991 following a 20-year career at family bank N M Rothschild & Sons. Rothschild co-founded the national advice business under the name J Rothschild Assurance Group alongside Mark Weinberg, former Deputy Chair of the forerunner regulatory body to the FCA, and the late Mike Wilson. A spokesperson for SJP said: "We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Lord Jacob Rothschild. As a hugely accomplished financier and a co-founder of St James’s Place, Lord Rothschild leaves an extraordinary legacy in helping to shape the financial advice profession in the UK." (Nicola Blackburn, 26/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'SJP co-founder Jacob Rothschild dies aged 87')​The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has declared collapsed discretionary fund manager (DFM) Blankstone Sington in default. In preparation for paying out compensation to clients, the FSCS declared Liverpool-based Blankstone Sington a failed firm. Blankstone Sington entered special administration last October after failing to convince 140 prospective buyers to rescue the company’s dwindling assets and underfunded pension scheme, which carried a deficit of about £641,000 as of August 2023. (Nicola Blackburn, 8/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'FSCS declares £284m DFM in default')​Mattioli Woods recorded an 8% revenue uptick in its interim results, despite market volatility putting pressure on assets. Its revenue increased from £54.9m in the first half of the year to £59.1m in the six months ended 30 November 2023. The boost was due to organic growth in the new business, as well as the effects of its acquisitions of Doherty Pensions and Investment Consultancy and White Mortgages in the prior year. (Caroline Hug, 6/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Mattioli Woods revenue jumps 8% in choppy markets')​Former Buckingham Gate Financial Planner Peter Ditchburn has launched a duo of firms under the brand Deep Dive. The businesses – which were established in November 2023 – focus on estate and financial planning for whole families, rather than “looking at things in silos”. Deep Dive Financial Planning is an appointed representative of 2plan Wealth Management – a sister company of Openwork, for whom Ditchburn has worked in the past. (Lois Vallely, 28/2/2024, Money Marketing, 'New advice firm launches with intergenerational planning focus')​Quilter Financial Planning has added two new appointed representative (AR) financial planning firms to its network. The first – Sports Media and Entertainment Wealth Management – is a newly-formed business led by former Coutts’ chartered wealth manager Obinna Ikedife. The second – Holroyd Wealth Management – is based in North Somerset and Bristol. It was launched by principal and chartered financial planner Anthony Holroyd, who was previously a wealth manager at HSBC. (Lois Vallely, 26/2/2024, Money Marketing, 'Two new AR firms join Quilter’s advice network')​Pensions advisory firm Isio Group has reported that its revenue surged past £155m on the back of acquisitions and organic growth. The group’s financial results for the year to 30 September 2023 showed annualised revenue of over £155m and EBITDA of around £39m. The results showed revenue growth of 33% from £101.5m to £135.3m and EBITDA growth of 27% from £27m to £34.4m. (Momodou Musa Touray, 21/2/2/2024, Money Marketing, 'Isio Group revenue passes £155m on back of acquisitions')Vanguard has launched a new digital education and training hub designed to help financial advisers support their clients and grow their businesses. Vanguard 365 is “part of an ongoing investment in the support and services Vanguard provides to UK financial advisers and intermediaries”. The hub provides a range of tailored educational content and events, supporting professional development and allowing advisers to accumulate CPD points. (Dan Cooper, 14/2/2024, Money Marketing, 'Vanguard launches new training hub to support advisers')​M&G Wealth has launched a new tool to help advisers calculate clients benefit from a transitional tax-free amount certificate ahead of the abolition of the lifetime allowance (LTA) in April. M&G Wealth’s new LTA transitional tax-free amount tool supports advisers by identifying the standard lump-sum allowance (LSA), calculating reductions based on default transitional rules and under transitional tax-free amount certificate rules. (Momodou Musa Touray, 14/2/2024, Money Marketing, 'M&G Wealth launches adviser tool ahead of LTA abolition'Benchmark has laid out ambitious plans to grow its advice offering following its purchase of Unique Financial Planning last year. The firm’s Chief Executive Ed Dymott said that 2023 had been a “record year” for attracting new businesses – both to acquire and to use its tech offering. Dymott said Benchmark will continue to consider strategic acquisitions to grow its advice business. (Lois Vallely, 9/2/2024, Money Marketing, 'Benchmark sets out ambitious growth plans following Unique purchase')Mergers & AcquisitionsLondon & Capital Group (LCG) and Waverton Investment Management Group are to merge. The merger creates a wealth business with £17bn in assets under management. US private equity firm Lovell Minnick Partners (LMP), which became London & Capital’s biggest shareholder when it bought a stake in the business in June 2022, will take a majority shareholding in the combined business.  LMP will also provide fresh capital to the merged business, which will be invested in enhancing client service, technology investment and product and geographic expansion. (Dylan Lobo, 29/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Waverton and London & Capital to merge')​Abrdn has sold its 50% stake in its joint venture (JV) with Virgin Money for less than half the price it paid for it. Virgin Money Investments was established in 2019 as a 50-50 JV between Abrdn and Virgin Money, with Abrdn providing fund management for a series of funds that were sold to Virgin Money’s customers. The service, which comprises an FNZ platform and a range of Virgin Money-branded funds, went live to customers last April. A new pension, also run by FNZ, was launched last November and all customers were migrated across to it last month. The service has £3.7bn of assets under management and 150,000 customers. Following the pension launch and migration, Virgin Money has decided to buy out Abrdn’s 50% stake for £20m. This represents a 60% loss on the £50m Abrdn spent on the JV. (Nicola Blackburn, 14/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Abrdn sells Virgin Money JV stake at 60% loss')IFA consolidator Perspective Financial Group has received new private equity (PE) investment from US firm Charlesbank Capital Partners. Charlesbank, which is based in Boston, has bought out the equity of Perspective’s current lead PE owner, CBPE Capital, which had been invested for just under five years. The details of the Charlesbank deal were not disclosed, but NMA reported that it was in search of a £300m valuation last year. (Jack Gilbert, 7/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Consolidator Perspective gets new PE investment')Movers​Royal London has appointed Peter Josse as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO). He replaces outgoing COO Will Pritchett, who has been with the business for four years, firstly as Chief Investment Officer before being appointed COO in January 2023. Pritchett will leave the business at the end of March, according to a spokesperson for Royal London. Josse’s career spans more than 20 years in banking. He joins Royal London from Barclays, where he has worked since 2008 across several operations, change management and technology roles. Most recently, Josse was Chief Information Officer for Barclays’ UK business. Before joining Barclays, he was the Global Head of Infrastructure and Service at Dutch bank ABN AMRO, where he worked for 11 years, according to his LinkedIn profile. (Nicola Blackburn, 28/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Royal London poaches Barclays veteran as new COO')​Coutts has boosted its funds research team with the hire of former Hawksmoor Top 100 star James Clark. Clark joins Coutts after a one-year stint as Head of Investment Funds and Research at Aditum Investment Management in Dubai. Prior to this, he worked as a Senior Fund Analyst at Hawksmoor Investment Management, where he worked for seven years. Clark started his career as a Portfolio Manager at Charles Stanley in 2007, where he worked for almost six years. He also had a two-year stint as an Investment Manager at Prydis before moving to Hawksmoor. (Caroline Hug, 27/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Coutts hires former Hawksmoor Top 100 star James Clark')Rathbones has appointed two Brooks Macdonald veterans to its London ranks. Charles Williams has joined the wealth manager after more than 15 years at Brooks, where he worked as Senior Investment Director. Williams left Brooks towards the end of last year. Nathan Delaney has also joined Rathbones, having announced his departure from Brooks earlier this month. Delaney worked at Brooks for more than 17 years, having started as a graduate trainee in 2006. He most recently led the hedge funds and alternatives research sector and was responsible for the firm’s graduate trainee scheme. (Caroline Hug, 26/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Rathbones appoints two Brooks veterans in London office')​Nomura Asset Management’s Head of Equity for its UK team is leaving to join Sarasin & Partners. Tom Wildgoose will join the UK-based thematic investing specialist on 4 March as a Senior Portfolio Manager focused on global equities. Wildgoose has stepped off the $121m Nomura Fds Global High Conviction fund, which is left in the hands of Javier Panizo, and the $29m Nomura Global Sustainable Equity fund, which will be run by Alex Rowe. A Sarasin & Partners spokesperson said: "This appointment reflects Sarasin & Partners’ commitment to investing in top-tier talent and its forward-looking strategy. Tom’s 16 years of experience in managing global equity portfolios will enhance our capabilities, as we continue driving success and delivering on the diverse needs of our client base." (Ian Heath, 23/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Nomura AM equity chief quits for Sarasin & Partners')In further news...​Sarasin & Partners has added two new faces to its charity investment team. Tom Santa-Olalla joins from Close Brothers Asset Management where he spent six years, most recently as a Senior Investment Specialist. Before that, he worked at HSBC Private Bank, advising high- and ultra-high-net-worth clients. Santa-Olallais joined by Hector McLean, who spent three years at Cantab Asset Management, providing investment management and financial planning services to the firm’s private client base. (Dylan Lobo, 23/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Sarasin & Partners boosts charity team with Close and Cantab hires')​Oberon Investments has recruited wealth entrepreneur Adam Young for its Smythe House division. Young, who has founded two wealth businesses during a career spanning three decades, joins Smythe House as a Private Office Director. Young started his career in retail banking at Barclays in 1984 and went on to form his own family office and planning business, Dragonfly, which he managed for 25 years. He then co-founded Jarrovian Wealth in 2017, where he headed up the firm’s private office division overseeing 150 high-net-worth families. Young is joined at Smythe by Senior Relationship Manager Kelly Morgan, who has 12 years of experience in wealth management. Morgan started her career at UBS and also had a spell working alongside Young at Jarrovian as a Senior Client Relationship Manager. More recently she has been running her own European wellness company in Ibiza. (Caroline Hug, 21/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Oberon recruits wealth entrepreneur for Smythe House arm')​Investment Manager Carolyn Black has returned to Redmayne Bentley nine years after leaving the business. Black worked at Redmayne between 2005-2015 before moving to become an Associate Director for Myddleton Croft, which was acquired by Charles Stanley in 2019. On her return to Redmayne, she takes up an Investment Manager post in the firm’s Leeds office, located in Wellington Place. (Olivia Bybel, 14/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Charles Stanley investment manager returns to Redmayne Bentley)Investec Alternative Investment Management has appointed Alicia Forry as Head of ESG, Alternative Investments. Forry was previously Head of UK Equity ESG products at Investec, leading cross-sector ESG research on UK listed companies. She is also a member of the group’s sustainable business forum, which was set up to help clients with their net-zero transition. (Selin Bucak, 13/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Investec appoints ESG head for alternatives business')Evelyn Partners has appointed Quilter Cheviot veteran Daniel Lewis as an Investment Director in the firm’s Chelmsford office. Before the move, Lewis spent 22 years at Quilter Cheviot, where he began working just two years after leaving university. (Olivia Bybel, 12/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Evelyn hires Quilter veteran in East Anglia push')Waverton Investment Management has recruited former Odey Wealth Investment Director Alexander Cottrell. Cottrell spent a decade at Odey before it collapsed at the end of last year following sexual misconduct allegations against its Founder. He joins Waverton as a Portfolio Manager, reporting to the firm’s Head of Private Clients Rupert Elwes. Cottrell started his investment career at CG Asset Management in 2013. This was followed by a one-year stint at Cazenove Capital before making the switch to Odey, where he specialised in running portfolios for professional investors, retail clients and entrepreneurs. (Dylan Lobo, 7/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Waverton offers former Odey Wealth director a home')Private equity-backed advice group Progeny has appointed Tom Wood to replace Steven Allen as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) as it looks for new investment. Wood has advised and invested in private equity-backed firms for the past seven years. Between 2017 and 2019, he was Chief Restructuring and Financial Officer at the Co-Operative Bank. In this role, he co-advised on the bank’s third recapitalisation – restructuring the bank’s mix of debt and equity. Before this, Wood was CEO and CFO at Shawbrook Bank, leading its initial public offering. (Zachariah Sharif, 7/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Progeny changes CFO as it looks for new investment')In further news...Progeny has appointed Tim Gillman to the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO). Gillman previously worked at Australian-based Link Group as COO for three years. Prior to that, he was COO at First Bank of Nigeria (FBN). He also spent 13 years at Barclays, where he first started off at the bank on its graduate leadership programme. He left the bank as Managing Director for business banking and consumer-lending operations. (Darius McQuaid, 27/2/2024, Money Marketing, 'Progeny appoints Gillman to COO')Tim Sargisson has left Schroders-owned Benchmark Capital after just eight months. The reason for his depature has not been disclosed. While the advice group searches for a replacement, Peter O’Sullivan, who was set to retire after a 36-year career in financial services, will resume his former position as Managing Director of Benchmark Financial Planning. A well-known name in the advice profession, Sargisson was CEO of advice network Sandringham Financial Partners, which had 180 planners, between 2015 and 2022. (Zachariah Sharif, 7/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Benchmark boss Sargisson exits after eight months')​Regional Director of Rathbones’ Bristol office James Fox has retired after 30 years with the business. Fox joined Rathbones in 1994, having started his career in stockbroking ten years earlier. Fox is replaced by Amos Nelson, who has become the new Regional Director of the firm’s Bristol office. Nelson has worked closely with James Fox as Investment Director. He is a chartered member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment and sits on Rathbones’ collectives research committee. (Caroline Hug, 2/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'Rathbones Bristol head James Fox retires after 30 years')7IM-owned Partners Wealth Management (PWM) has promoted Fiona Oliver to Managing Partner, with former Managing Director James Roberts becoming Head of Strategy and Proposition for private wealth in the wider 7IM group. Oliver joined PWM in 2016 as Business Director. Before that, she was a Financial Planner at national advice firm Towry, before its acquisition by Tilney, which later became Evelyn Partners. Roberts co-founded PWM in 2004. In his new role, as Head of Strategy and Proposition for 7IM’s private wealth business, Roberts is tasked with replicating much of what PWM does in other businesses within the group. (Zachariah Sharif, 1/2/2024, Citywire Wealth Manager, 'New head for 7IM’s £3bn advice unit as founder takes strategy role')​Abrdn’s Head of Financial Planning Sarah Deaves has left the business after two years. Before joining Abrdn, Deaves held senior leadership positions in a range of major wealth management businesses in the UK. These included Schroders Personal Wealth, Lloyds Banking Group and RBS Group, where she was the first female Chief Executive of Coutts. (Lois Vallely, 29/2/2024, Money Marketing, 'Abrdn loses financial planning boss as II takes over advice business')The Personal Finance Society (PFS) board has appointed Ben Wright as a new Director of the organisation. Wright is a Chartered Financial Planner and fellow of the PFS based in Sheffield. He will serve for an initial four-year term, with his first board meeting on 21 March. Wright is the Founder and Director of progress at financial services consultancy firm, Change Squared. (Lois Vallely, 29/2/2024, Money Marketing, 'PFS names chartered financial planner Ben Wright as new board member')​National adviser network Vision Independent Financial Planning has announced changes to its leadership structure. Zoe King, formerly Managing Director at Vision IFP, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. She replaces Paul Sweaton, who moves to the role of Executive Chair. King joined Vision IFP in 2010 and has held several roles within the business, including Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer. Sweaton co-founded Vision IFP in October 2008. (Momodou Musa Touray, 12/2/2024, Money Marketing, 'Vision IFP restructures leadership team')Financial-advice network The Openwork Partnership has appointed Sara Bennison as Independent Non-Executive Director to the board of Openwork Holdings Limited. She joins from a distinguished career with global advertising agencies followed by 15 years in financial services. She has previously worked for Barclays and then Nationwide, where she was Chief Executive of The Mortgage Works and latterly Chief Product and Marketing Officer and a member of the group executive committee. (Lois Vallely, 9/2/2024, Money Marketing, 'Openwork welcomes Sarah Bennison as new non-exec 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 tony.bates@idexconsulting.comAll information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from Money Marketing and Citywire Wealth Manager.

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Financial Services Newsletter Friday 2nd February 2024

Financial Services NewsEvelyn 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')MoversEvelyn 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')​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 tony.bates@idexconsulting.comAll information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from Money Marketing and Citywire Wealth Manager.

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New Website Blog Thumbnails (26) blogs
The gender pay gap in Financial Services

​Equality may be a word commonly used in the workplace today, but discourse doesn’t guarantee progress – and the stats are worrying. Analysis of the latest gender pay disclosures shows that men continue to be paid more than women across most UK organisations, “the difference in pay was found to be 9.4%, the same level as when figures were first public… in 2017/18” (BBC: 2023 8 out of 10 firms pay men more than women). At best, UK companies seem to be stagnating.Research shows 79.5% of employers had a gender pay gap that favoured men in 2022-23. While this has fallen in some sectors, Financial Services had an average gap of 22.7% - the highest after educational employers (UK Finance: 2023 News in brief). Further research by PwC shows the median average pay gap sat at 12.1% across all UK sectors – but it was a whopping 26.6% for Financial Services (PwC: Gender pay gap and diversity in financial services).Perhaps even more worryingly, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Standard Chartered all reported a widening gap between what they paid women and men in 2022, according to data reviewed by Reuters. “All four banks said in their gender pay gap reports that the figures reflected the under-representation of women in senior roles and that they were taking steps to address this” (Reuters: 2023 HSBC, Goldman gender pay gaps widen in UK as finance makes slow progress). So how does the pay gap actually work?The 1975 equal pay act means employers are required by law to pay professionals in the same role the same salary; it isn’t employers simply deciding to pay women less because they’re women. The situation is covert, multifaceted and often unconscious; but in its essence (and as admitted to above) the gap exists because men across the board can often occupy better paying professions, as well as positions of seniority in those professions.But why?Horizontal and vertical biasHorizontal gender bias is the distribution of men and women across industries and sectors. What roles do the words ‘women’s jobs’ conjure? Is it care work like nursing or teaching? Likewise, does ‘men’s work’ conjure images of engineers, STEM professionals or brokers? Vertical gender bias works similarly – it’s the distribution of men and women across the hierarchy of a specific profession, workplace or industry. In the past, women in boardrooms may have famously shared the awkward experience of being asked to get drinks or take notes. Why? Is it because a leader or c-suite professional looks like an older man in our collective conscious?It’s easy to justify these biases with numbers. After all, stereotypes often exist because of the numbers. If women want to be seen as leaders or occupy roles not socially assigned to them, why don’t they? The danger lies in the confirmation bias that follows the above. When the group that is the subject of the social bias/stereotype internalise it, they can end up trapped by it. As young professionals prepare to enter the market, they envision a career trajectory. But if you can’t see yourself ever getting to a certain place, you simply won’t work towards making it a reality. This manifests in people only pursuing careers they believe are open to them in the first place. Social bias leads to confirmation bias, which in turn leads to a self-perpetuating, restrictive cycle of keeping certain people in specific places.The motherhood and partner penaltyTo add to the above, things get more complicated when looking at motherhood and cohabitation. The New York Times put it well, “The big reason that having children, and even marrying in the first place, hurts women’s pay relative to men’s is that the division of labour at home is still unequal, even when both spouses work full time” (New York Times: The gender pay gap is largely because of motherhood).When looking at an uneven division of labour, raising children can be a factor. But according to research even those who choose not to have children often earn less, because women are more likely to pass up job opportunities in order to move or stay put for their husband’s job. Then when children are introduced, not only have some women missed job opportunities but they often take fewer intensive jobs in preparation for children – knowing that the bulk of the (unpaid) responsibility will fall to them.“One person focuses on career, and the other one does the lion’s share of the work at home,” said Sari Kerr, an economist at Wellesley College, Massachusetts. Statistically women spend on average one hour more a day on unpaid work than men do, with that jumping to as much as three hours in some European countries (Eurostat: How do women and men use their time – statistics). This unequal division of unpaid labour takes its toll on the professional lives of women – sapping energy, stifling potential and fuelling the pay gap.Those who decide not to have children may also experience bias, whereby they’re overlooked for promotion on the basis that they may one day change their mind and deprioritise work as a result (Justifying gender discrimination in the workplace: The mediating role of motherhood myths). “Cognitive bias may occur when an employer disadvantages women by assuming that they will conform to a stereotype. An employer assuming that mothers will work fewer hours after they have children is an example of how stereotyping is dangerous” notes one research piece (University of Rhode Island: The motherhood penalty).So, what can employers do to address the gender pay gap and support women? Support professional women The complexity of the pay gap stems from the multiple factors causing it, some of which are social issues beyond the scope of businesses. However, there are some powerful ways organisations can tackle the problem - introducing and promoting paternity leave is the biggest. For the institutions without a paternity policy, the first step is clear. For those with paternity leave already in place, the World Economic Forum advises employers to actively encourage new fathers to take it. “Men cite fears of being discriminated against professionally, missing out on pay rises and promotions, being marginalised or even mocked as reasons [for not taking paternity leave]” says one report (Family Tree: Paternity leave – why aren’t more men taking it?) and yet when surveyed, 80% of dads said they’d want much more time with their children (World economic forum: 2022 The motherhood penalty: How childcare and paternity leave can reduce the gender pay gap). It’s clear, businesses need to actively promote paternity leave as a viable option for their male employees.Similarly, childcare and flexibility are paramount. Retailer Patagonia created on-site childcare facilities for employees and saw retention rates skyrocket. In a post Covid climate flexibility is a non-negotiable, particularly for financial businesses promising to bridge the gap.Perhaps most importantly, employers need to understand the challenges women may be facing, listen to any concerns and work on ways to drive equity. The World Economic Forum urges employers to “allow women within your organisation to discuss what's working and what's not – give them a direct line of communication to the top as well as the resources they need” (World economic forum: 2022 The motherhood penalty: How childcare and paternity leave can reduce the gender pay gap). Creating safe open spaces to discuss personal situations case by case is a direct way to combat the biases and challenges driving the gender pay gap. Open the door and show that it’s openFrom as early as school, a lack of representation and the horizontal biases that plague gender, ethnicity and certain socioeconomic backgrounds directly influence career trajectories. It’s easy to tell girls they can be c-suite finance professionals if they want to be, but unless girls can see that it’s a viable career pathway, doubts will linger. Remedying this isn’t a complicated process. Working in partnership with schools and colleges to organise open days and workshops for the talent of the future is a powerful way for businesses to address the widening pay gap. Further down the line, internships and development programmes aimed specifically at women is another effective way to encourage open and honest conversations and provide support. Ultimately, the numbers are clear; there are still challenges with the gender pay gap across the Financial Services profession and time alone isn’t fixing the issue. Companies across Financial Services need compliant policies, support mechanisms and cultures which encourage open conversations and empower employees to challenge the status quo.For advice and support with your hiring strategy or if you’re looking for a new opportunity, speak to an IDEX Financial Services specialist today.​Sources:BBC: Paternity leave, which comes with multiple benefits, is more widely offered than ever before. So, why aren't more men taking it?BBC: 2023 8 out of 10 firms pay men more than womenEurostat: How do women and men use their time – statisticsFamily Tree: Paternity leave – why aren’t more men taking it?Justifying gender discrimination in the workplace: The mediating role of motherhood mythsNew York Times: The gender pay gap is largely because of motherhoodPwC: Gender pay gap and diversity in financial servicesReuters: 2023 HSBC, Goldman gender pay gaps widen in UK as finance makes slow progressUK Finance: 2023 News in briefUniversity of Rhode Island: The motherhood penaltyWorld economic forum: 2022 The motherhood penalty: How childcare and paternity leave can reduce the gender pay gap

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New Website Blog Thumbnails (24) financial services blogs
Financial Services 2024 Salary, Benefits and Skills Guide

With the release of the 2024 Salary, Benefits and Skills Guide, we’ve compiled everything from specialism insights, market outlooks, in-demand skills and hiring statistics. Below is a sneak peek into the current Financial Services employment market, as well as what our specialists expect to see in the coming year.Don’t neglect your Employee Benefits By now ‘war for talent’ is a common term – there’s no doubt the current employment market continues to grapple under a talent shortage. According to the latest figures from our report, nearly half of Financial Services employees feel negative or uncertain about their career prospects.To further complicate the problem, increasing salaries is becoming less viable as interest rates and cost of capital continue to soar.So while the profession saw a sharp salary increase in 2022, this has undoubtedly been unsustainable. To combat this and retain their top talent, financial institutions are increasingly focusing on their Employee Value Proposition – institutions look to alternative, non-financial forms of remuneration. Basic working models which offer flexible, hybrid working have been beyond effective in increasing employee satisfaction. Offering opportunity for growth has been a similarly successful strategy, showcasing a businesses’ commitment to its talent and further encouraging retention.But while the power of employee benefits cannot be overstated in the current employment climate, our specialists thoroughly recommend keeping tabs on the market and ensuring salaries offered are in line with the competition – it's fierce out there, make sure your organisation is prepared.Regulation changesIt’s not just the employment sphere being shaken up by wider geoeconomic factors, the UK political landscape also faces changes as it prepares for the next general election and a potential shift to a new government. Financial institutions looking to either sell or acquire need to move quickly if hoping to avoid an inflated capital gains tax. Similarly, 2023 saw the introduction of Consumer Duty – but the full extent of the regulatory framework won’t come into effect till mid-2024. Firms looking for a head start on their acquisition strategy need to clearly demonstrate an effective implementation of the framework. It won’t be enough to simply be compliant, businesses need to be able to showcase a comfortable and profitable synergy with Consumer Duty.Employment demandOur research shows the average age of a financial planner is over 55, with an unprecedented two thirds of these set to retire within the next five years. Unsurprisingly then, the priority for financial institutions will be a recruitment drive to replace any talent lost. As a result, there has been significant growth in academies being set up in-house as wealth management firms in particular seek to develop their own talent. So what is the most sought-after role across Financial Services right now?To build our report, we invited 100,000 employers and professionals to complete our survey enabling us to compile accurate data on 600 roles across 40 different specialisms. This means our data driven research includes the latest insights on the most in-demand roles across the Financial Services profession. Are you looking for accurate salary insights? Interested to see how in-demand your role is? Want a head start with your recruitment strategy?For effective outcomes and favourable results, make sure your next move is data-driven and fully informed. From some surprising statistics, to the latest trends across the Financial Services profession, our 2024 Salary, Benefits and Skills Guide has everything you need for a productive 2024. Enjoy the security of knowing your business actions are underpinned with the latest sector-specific insights.Access the exclusive, free report here.

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New Website Blog Thumbnails (8) blogs
2024 Financial Services Mergers and Acquisition outlook

​Over the past 12 months, due to economic instability, geopolitical tensions and rising inflation, some firms have been hesitant with expansion. But should they be? According to the latest EY CEO Outlook Pulse Survey, 98% of CEOs plan to pursue a strategic transaction in the next 12 months [compared to] last January, [where] the number was at 89% - with 58% of them looking to mergers and acquisitions (M&A)(EY: 2023 CEO Outlook Pulse survey). Alongside this, and promisingly, the UK and Ireland are expected to enjoy the highest growth in M&A activity this year according to a separate report by CMS(CMS: European 2024 M&A outlook).  Research shows that 2024 will shift from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market – demand is high, supply is low. While high interest rates, inflation and rising cost of capital has affected appetite, it hasn’t changed the volume of deals; and with fewer publicised deals across the acquisition market it may seem as if the waters are stilling, but a lack of announcements doesn’t mean a lack of activity. So what will the driving factors of M&A within Financial Services be, and what can we expect to see in 2024? Embedded finance and diversificationHistorically, convergence has been a survival strategy in times of uncertainty. But as non-financial platforms and retailers adopt finance elements into their public offerings, cross-industry convergence is quickly becoming an evolution strategy for the specialism. Embedded finance has emerged as a transformative trend across the specialism, with mainstream attention skyrocketing in the last two years. It integrates traditional Financial Services into non-financial platforms, thereby completely redefining how consumers interact with payments, banking and insurance. Examples of this include AI powered payments network Klarna’s expansion into retail giants like ASOS and Pretty Little Thing, where customers are able to sign up to an interest free monthly payment plan.SS&C Intralinks describes this convergence as a “proven strategy that allows major players to maintain a diverse product line, keep pace with digital transformation and, in the current environment, meet the changing needs of a stressed banking system” (SS&C: How financial services M&A is responding to the 2023 bank shock). As a result, the relationship between fintechs, bigtechs and banking institutions has evolved from competitive to collaborative. 2024 promises convergence between agile consumer-facing fintechs and larger incumbents. Furthermore, PwC describe the asset and wealth management (AWM) sector as “solid, with potential profitability quite attractive [to prospective buyers]” (PwC: Next in asset and wealth management 2023). Professional services firms are increasingly diversifying their offering through the acquisition of AWM practices, and this is a trend expected to continue throughout 2024. Interest rates and confidence Interest rates have soared across the UK plateauing at 5.25% as of December 2023. Such high rates have undoubtedly made smaller-sized Independent Financial Advice (IFA) firms question their acquisition strategy, leaving the market wondering if all that remains in the current climate are consolidators and private equity-backed firms who can afford the cost of capital. Whilst 2024 is showing promising signs in the stabilising of interest rates, the overall cost of growing through acquisitions has absolutely increased. The specialism remains attractive thanks to the value financial planning firms offer. Broadening the service offering by selling to the clients of newly acquired businesses paired with a regular income significantly improves profitability and reduces investor risk. 2024 will be particularly exciting for small to medium (SME) IFA businesses. "We saw increased acquisition appetite amongst SME IFA practices last year, perhaps because of the stabilisation of interest rates and the impact this has had on the cost of capital. We expect this trend to continue through 2024, as SME practices are looking to capitalise on the opportunity available through retiring IFA's and the onboarding of spoke acquisitions to compliment and realise synergies within their existing operations” notes James Salmon, M&A Specialist, IDEX Consulting.Consumer Duty Implemented in July 2023, the new Consumer Duty regulatory framework demands that financial advisers prove their services provide fair value. While this may not necessarily cause huge changes in deal volumes, firms are doubtlessly going to be more scrupulous which could prolong the dealmaking process. Following exchange, the average process of embedding new regulation such as Consumer Duty takes around three years. Firms with poorly implemented Consumer Duty run the risk of failing integration, losing value and ultimately seeing deferred payments defaulting. This is why having a well-defined strategy and plan for effectively and reliably embedding Consumer Duty is going to be vital for firms looking to sell. AI and emerging technologies By now it’s evident that artificial intelligence has instigated a paradigm shift across industries, with the pace of generative AI adoption being faster than some startups. ChatGPT, for example, reached 100 million users in just six months (Guide to next: Publicis sapient 2024 outlook). This has inevitably bled into the M&A process, with nearly three quarters (71%) of CEOs surveyed using AI as part of the transaction strategy process, either significantly or through pilot programmes. Only a small group (5%) claim they have no plans to use AI (EY: 2024 CEO outlook pulse survey). Improving technology capabilities and innovation will be a huge driver of M&A in 2024, with 16% of businesses stating that this a primary investment goal(FutureCFO: M&A Trends: Business leaders expect rebound into 2024) and 40% of FS businesses reporting a marked improvement in customer satisfaction thanks to AI, according to the 2023 IDEX AI Report. Helping to mitigate a famously complex process, financial businesses looking for smooth M&A undertakings are increasingly leveraging the power of artificial intelligence to optimise the journey. However, there also comes increased risk with automated business/asset auditing. Deloitte warn: “the technological turbulence [of] generative AI, transition to the cloud, increased fraud and cyber risk, and blurring of industry lines, such as the embedded finance trend—will require financial services leaders to be much more agile than ever” (Deloitte: 2024 financial services industry outlooks). Businesses looking to sell need to use compliant tools to ensure a smooth transition, artificial intelligence will remain a powerful advantage but needs careful leveraging. Furthermore, genAI offers huge opportunities for financial institutions. The only limit of the technology is that it’s only as powerful as the data it has access to. Firms may want to partner with large technology companies to access this infrastructure and M&A will be a fantastic way to feed the machine – adding to and enhancing their existing data. Expect to see data-motivated acquisitions in 2024.Portfolio reviews Mirroring a trend in convergence, and a direct response to rising rates, tougher times call for portfolio reviews from firms as they look to execute a series of smaller transactions in 2024. These smaller deals, while modest in comparison to some of the huge undertakings in years past, offer real advantages in the current financial and regulatory environment. Law firm Foley & Lardner mention, “the prevailing high-interest-rate environment has sparked a distinct trend in M&A for 2024, and that is a heightened importance on smaller-scale deals. Acquirers are opting for more modest transactions, partly due to the interest rate situation. These smaller deals present reduced financial risk and are more in line with a cautious approach to risk management”(Foley: M&A trends to watch in 2024). Alongside being more achievable, a series of well planned, de-risked acquisitions are just as transformative as front page news deals, and are a trend we can expect to see throughout 2024. ESG as a dealbreaker Lastly, environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations are no longer a pleasant afterthought in financial services M&A and will continue to be a central focus for businesses looking to expand. Sustainability is an essential consideration in a business’ offering. As a result, 2024 will see ESG integration take a pivotal role in successful M&A transactions. This is reflective of a growing demand from both investors and clients for companies that not only perform well financially, but demonstrate continuing commitment to sustainability and ethical practices. Larger financial institutions looking to sell need to be aware that potential buyers will be scrutinising their ESG targets and performance. These environmental and ethical factors will also be integrated into the due diligence process, making them vital to successful M&A deals and therefore non-negotiable for companies looking for M&A appeal. Foley & Lardner aptly mention “as long as ESG factors align with economic performance, expect the political backlash to remain just that” (Foley: M&A trends to watch in 2024). Although the vast majority of respondents (85%) expect M&A activity to come under more scrutiny relating to environmental, social & governance (ESG) regulations over the next three years, almost two-thirds (64%) also believe ESG regulation will ultimately provide a boost to dealmaking in Europe (CMS: Turning the corner? CMS European M&A outlook 2024).From industry convergence, an updated regulatory climate to the emergence of AI and other new technologies, the Financial Services specialism will see further transformation throughout 2024 – and with it comes exciting opportunities for acquisition and diversification.  Looking for advice on the Financial Services M&A landscape or keen to explore a new opportunity? Contact our specialist consultant James Salmon today, on 07947748173 or email james.salmon@idexconsulting.com  Sources: CMS: European 2024 M&A outlook Deloitte: 2024 financial services industry outlooks EY: 2024 CEO outlook pulse survey Foley: M&A trends to watch in 2024 FutureCFO: M&A Trends: Business leaders expect rebound into 2024 Guide to next: Publicis sapient 2024 outlook PwC: Next in asset and wealth management 2023 SS&C: How financial services M&A is responding to the 2023 bank shock UK Adviser: Have interest rates impacted M&A deals in the advice market?  

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Meet the Financial Services Experts

Alison MacMillan

Alison MacMillan

Ashlea Walton

Ashlea Walton

Emma Murray

Emma Murray

Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson

 Louise Bibb

Louise Bibb

Keith Enright

Keith Enright

Graeme Hyland

Graeme Hyland

Alex Merrick

Alex Merrick

James Salmon

James Salmon

Luke Almond

Luke Almond

Graeme Winn

Graeme Winn

David Elders

David Elders

  • Alison MacMillan

    Executive Director & Regional Manager

    Mobile: 07423 400 829 | E-mail: alison.macmillan@idexconsulting.com​Ali has been working in Financial Services recruitment in Scotland since 2002 and is a Fellow of the Recruitm...

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  • Ashlea Walton

    Client Director

    Mobile: 07805 843 149 | E-mail: ashlea.walton@idexconsulting.comAshlea is an experienced Employee Benefits recruiter with 10+ years experience recruiting nationally. She specia...

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  • Emma Murray

    Client Delivery Manager

    ​Mobile: 07791 280 859 | E-mail: emma.murray@idexconsulting.com​A spring of energy in the office, Emma is a dedicated and passionate Financial Services specialist. Partnering w...

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  • Jack Johnson

    Business Director & Regional Manager

    ​Mobile: 07795 571 723 | E-mail: jack.johnson@idexconsulting.com​Jack has nine years’ experience recruiting Risk, Actuarial and Compliance professionals in the UK. He has worked...

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  • Louise Bibb

    Regional Manager

    Mobile: 07706 736 747 | E-mail: louise.bibb@idexconsulting.com​Louise has worked within Financial Services recruitment for over 7 years, predominantly focusing within the South...

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  • Keith Enright

    Business Manager

    Mobile: 07818 236 224 | Email: keith.enright@idexconsulting.com​Keith has been recruiting within the Financial Services sector since 2003. He specialises in partnering with clie...

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  • Graeme Hyland

    Business Manager

    Mobile: 07896 933 622 | E-mail: graeme.hyland@idexconsulting.com​Graeme is one of the longest serving members at IDEX Consulting and is fully responsible for recruitment, talent...

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  • Alex Merrick

    Business Manager

    ​Mobile: 07776 670 384 | Email: alex.merrick@idexconsulting.comPrior to moving into Recruitment, Alex was a Financial Adviser for 16 years. He started advising within the Bancas...

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  • James Salmon

    Business Manager

    Mobile: 07947 748 173 | E-mail: james.salmon@idexconsulting.comJames leads our Financial Services Mergers and Acquisitions proposition; supporting Wealth Management businesses t...

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  • Luke Almond

    Business Manager

    ​​Mobile: 07796 649 401 | E-mail: luke.almond@idexconsulting.com​Luke has spent the last nine years recruiting for Risk and Finance professionals across the Financial Services a...

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  • Graeme Winn

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    ​Mobile: 07552 208 547 | E-mail: graeme.winn@idexconsulting.comFollowing an initial career in Accountancy, Graeme has worked within the recruitment industry for nearly 10 years....

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    ​Mobile: 07407 626 734 | E-mail: david.elders@idexconsulting.comDave has over 16 years’ experience recruiting in the Financial Services sector, initially within Retail Banking,...

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