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Financial Services Newsletter - Friday 11th September 2020

11 Sep 2020


Schroders Personal Wealth has launched its Adviser academy with an intake of 20 trainee Advisers. Based in London and supported by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), the academy is an 18 month programme aimed at giving candidates the qualifications and skills needed to become Personal Wealth Advisers. Candidates will sit their exams with the CII, starting with R01 through to gaining a full diploma in regulated planning.

In further news...Schroders employees will no longer be required to spend every day at the office, even if that office is a 260,000 square foot, cutting edge facility in the heart of the nation’s capital. The Wealth Manager has 5,000 staff worldwide, including at 1 London Wall Place, a new office which was opened in 2018, with ribbon cutting duties undertaken by the Queen. But less than two years on, all those staff have been told they will be no minimum numbers of days which they must come into the office.

The CISI’s Annual Paraplanner Conference has shared its online agenda for this year’s event on the 24 and 25 September. There will be 6 hours of CPD available for attendees and the event will be concluded by welcoming in 2020’s Paraplanner of the Year. The keynote speaker is Kat Mock ACSI, Director and Head Paraplanner at Unity Paraplanning and the CISI’s Paraplanner of the Year 2019. She will share all her stories of success, failure, self-doubt and struggle from her illustrious paraplanning career to date which led her to launch her own paraplanning business. She will also share her top technical tips and answer questions from the audience.

Platform Transact will accept digital signatures for applications from Advisers. Following a pilot period where some Advisers were given the opportunity to use the service, Transact will roll out online signatures through DocuSign to every platform user. Advisers who use Moneyinfo’s digital signature alternative to DocuSign will also be able to sign documents online.

Succession Wealth is consulting with its Advisers on a new pay structure that will introduce a £250,000 annual revenue target for each Planner. The national IFA launched a consultation last month for changes to Planners’ remuneration which will see a new ‘balanced scorecard’ applied to determine their salaries. It is understood the proposed scorecard will be 70% quantitative (based on revenue) and 30% qualitative (based on quality of advice) and will apply for both employed and self-employed Planners.

AIM-listed Wealth Manager Mattioli Woods has seen its profits before tax jump 36.7% as its Chief Executive Ian Mattioli said it ‘can see light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel’. The Leicester-headquartered firm reported profit before tax of £13.4m for the year ending 31 May, up from £9.8m in the previous year. The group’s total assets under administration were hit by the market sell-off earlier this year and a £150.6m outflow to remain largely flat at £9.3bn.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has paid out £1.2m in compensation for Pension claims against a collapsed Defined Benefit (DB) transfer advice firm. The firm, Capital & Income Solutions, went into liquidation at the end of 2019 after losing its DB transfer permissions in June last year. It now has over 600 FSCS claims against it, all of which are related to Pensions advice.

Adviser technology provider Dynamic Planner is expanding its risk profiling service to include investment trusts. The first trust to be included in the enhanced service is the Seneca Global Income & Growth trust, which Dynamic Planner has assigned a risk profile of seven out of ten. Chris Jones, Proposition Director at Dynamic Planner, said that it was ‘vital’ for the company to maintain a consistency of approach to a wider range of investments.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigations into footballers has almost trebled from 87 to 246 in the last year on concern that ‘image rights’ were being use to avoid tax. According to accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young, HMRC is targeting what it sees as over-aggressive use of image rights deals, used by celebrities to manage their commercial endorsement and advertising fees from around the world.

Discretionary Fund Manager (DFM) RC Brown has launched a new advice network that is offering IFAs fee exemptions to move assets to its investment proposition. The new network is headed up by a Stourbridge-based advice firm Portcullis Financial Planning, which was bought by RC Brown at the end of 2019.

Over two-thirds of Financial Advisers feel they would be sufficiently safe from coronavirus if they return to the office and start meeting clients again. A social media poll by the Personal Finance Society (PFS) found out of 139 Advisers, 65% (90 members) felt they would be adequately protected against Covid-19 if required to start seeing clients and returning to the workplace. While 17% said they would feel partially protected from the virus, 10% said they would not feel safe from Covid-19 if asked to return to face-to-face client meetings.

Consolidator AFH Financial has acquired the client book from insolvent Welsh wealth business Juno Moneta Capital, weeks after the latter went into administration. Wealth Manager understands clients of the business have been informed they are set to be transferred to AFH, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Fast-growing Financial Planner Perspective Financial Group has acquired Wiltshire-based Financial Adviser Jones Hill, adding £44m in assets. The acquisition is Perspective’s 36th since it was founded in 2008 and its first since CBPE Capital LLP’s investment in the business in December 2019.

Gale and Phillipson has acquired Gyr Financial Consulting to expand the reach of the Financial Planning and wealth management firm in London and the South East. The acquisition is the fourth for the Financial Planner and brings £200m in funds under management. Gyr is based in Swanley, Kent and has a team with over 100 years’ experience in financial services. Gyr specialises in providing private clients with independent strategic Financial Planning and investment services.

A newly launched private equity-backed advice network led by former Openwork CEO Mary-Anne McIntyre, alongside Quilter Cheviot wealth boss Martin Baines, has bought Beaufort Group. Socium Group was founded last year by McIntyre, along with senior former figures from Quilter Cheviot and Intrinsic. Private equity house Penta Capital, which specialises in mid-market businesses in the UK, has handed Socium a £160m acquisition war chest to ‘carry out a buy and build in the UK independent advice market’. The plan is to grow the group to 300 advisers over the next five years by acquiring 15 to 20 ‘regional hubs’ so that ultimately clients are always ‘within 50 miles of an office’.

Adviser network Sense has sold to a new firm run by a privately-owned group of Investors for £9.4m. The network is being acquired by a group called Adviser Services Holdings, a business set up by a number of advice market veterans to “provide complimentary services” to Financial Planners.

Chris Faerber is Wren Sterling's Sales Director and he joined the business in July 2020. Chris has spent his entire career in Financial Services, with over twenty years spent at Halifax and Barclays where he held numerous senior management positions. More recently, Chris worked for St. James’s Place, firstly as a Business Development Manager and prior to joining Wren Sterling, Chris was Partnership’s Support Director, helping many SJP partner businesses to grow.

Old Mill has welcomed 17 new starters as the South West-based financial business continues to expand, despite the coronavirus pandemic. The new graduates are Philippa Ashe, Mitchell Stock, Bethany Irvine and Bradley Causey. The college leavers and apprentices are Sophie Ewens, John Marsh, Jodie Pike, Beth Coles and Tim Midgley. Joining the Rural team are Kirstie Monnington, a qualified Accountant who has relocated from London to get back to her rural roots, Charles Tolley, a trainee and Avril Riglar, an ACA qualified Accountant. Harriet Bowden and Emma Paull both join the Exeter office where Bowden will be part of the commercial team and Paull will work towards becoming a fully qualified Accountant. Barry O'Leary, a Paraplanner joins the Wells Wealth Management team, Lorna Wooster, a Client Service Associate joins the Melksham office and Sarah Emmett a Client Service Co-ordinator will be based in Yeovil.

Tilney Smith & Williamson has made its first appointment after the two companies officially merged at the beginning of the month. John Bunch joins the business in the newly created role of Chief Commercial Director, where he will lead client-facing teams, including more than 290 Investment Managers and 265 Financial Planners. Mayank Prakash has been appointed as Chief Technology Officer heading the digital integration of the two businesses. Prakash joins from FTSE 100 utility firm Centrica, were he was Chief Consumer Digital and Information Officer, leading its digital integration across 14 brands.

In further news...Tilney has poached Rathbones’ Managing Director of International Business Development Maurice Keane in a double raid on its rival. Keane joins as Head of International Business Development in the company’s Tilney for Professionals arm.

Brooks Macdonald has promoted Ben Palmer to head its Responsible Investment Service (RIS). Palmer previously headed Responsible Investment Research and in his newly created role he will oversee the Wealth Manager’s suite of three risk-graded RIS managed portfolios.

Hymans Robertson has appointed Simon Mortimer as Chief Digital Officer (CDO) - a new role created in a bid to enhance its digital impact. Mortimer joins the firm from the Body Shop where he held the Vice President of digital role covering the USA and Canada.

Law firm Walker Morris has expanded its Pensions team with the appointment of Liz Graham as Partner. Graham joins the firm from Squire Patton Boggs where she was Partner and Head of its Pensions team in Leeds.

PGIM Fixed Income has hired Eugenia Unanyants-Jackson as Head of ESG research, a newly created role. Unanyants-Jackson joins from Allianz Global Investors where she was the Global Head of ESG research and prior to this she was a Director of Governance and Sustainable Investment at BMO Global Asset Management.

Aegon Asset Management has appointed Mary Kerrigan as a Non-Executive Director to its UK board. 

XPS Pensions Group’s Martin Hunter has joined RPMI Railpen as a Pensions Policy Actuary. Hunter will be responsible for ensuring the trustee board of its committees – which manage £30bn of assets on behalf of the railways Pension schemes - can agree with employers’ integrated funding solutions.

Scottish Widows has appointed Executives from Legal & General (L&G) and Punter Southall to its master trust team. The appointments come in addition to Scottish Widows’ existing master trust team in an effort to bolster it; they follow the appointment of Sharon Bellingham from Hymans Robertson. L&G Master Trust’s David Butcher will join Scottish Widows’ board, along with its Independent Governance Committee and brings more than 40 years’ experience in Pensions and Investments. Gerald Wellesley – most recently Client Director at Punter Southall – will also join Scottish Widows’ master trust team. He brings 15 years’ experience as a Pension Trustee along with 25 years’ industry experience.

Trish Houston has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Law Debenture and will also join its board as an Executive Director.

The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) has appointed James Alexander as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Alexander – who will take up the position at the membership organisation on 12 October – is currently Director of the City Finance Programme at the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and is responsible for helping megacities overcome the barriers to financing climate action.

BESTrustees has appointed Jenny Davidson as a Trustee Executive. Davidson is a HR and Pension professional who has held a range of reward and Pensions roles, including positions at Novar, CSC, Dixons Carphone and Three.

Gillian De Candole will depart Brunel Pension Partnership for a portfolio management role with the Lothian Pension Fund. De Candole has more than 15 years’ experience in both buy-side and asset-owner capacity and previously worked in fund management and equities research for Schroders and the Environment Agency Pension Fund.

The platform behind the Smart Pension Master Trust has named Chief Executive (CEO) Andrew Evans as group CEO. Smart Co-founder Will Wynne will also take on the role of Group Managing Director under the business’ new international structure.

Pensions and Investment consultancy Redington has appointed Phil Symes as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Symes took up the position on 21 August and will also become a member of the consultancy’s management team and an Executive Director on the Redington board.

Hargreaves Lansdown has appointed BBC Journalist and Anchor Susannah Streeter as Senior Investment and Market Analyst at the Bristol-based Investment platform. Streeter brings over two decades of journalistic experience to the firm, most recently from the BBC, where she spent 17 years, ending her time as Anchor of the flagship daily business news programme.

Independent Employee Benefits and Pension Consultant Broadstone has appointed Marc Devereux as its Director of Investment Consulting. Devereux has over 20 years of experience working with UK Pension schemes and will join Broadstone from Momentum. 

Law firm BDB Pitmans has appointed Stephenson Harwood’s Alex Rush as Legal Director of its Pensions team. Rush provided advice to trustees and sponsors of both defined benefit (DB) and Defined Contribution schemes across all aspects of Employee Benefits law in his previous role.

John Hastings-Bass has been appointed as Chairman and Non-Executive Director of Just Group, taking over from Chris Gibson-Smith. Hastings-Bass will also Chair the Nominations Committee and be a member of the Market Disclosure, Group Risk & Compliance and Remuneration committees. He will also service as a Non-Executive Director of Just Retirement and Partnership Life Assurance Company.

The Pension Superfund has announced the makeup of its Asset and Liability Management (ALM) committee – unveiling names including Aberdeen Standard Investments Chairman Martin Gilbert and former Railpen Chief Executive Chris Hitchen as part of its team. The following people will join The Pension Superfund Managing Partners Edmund Truell and Luke Webster on the committee: Wolf Becke – currently Chairman of Aegon Blue Square Re, Vice-Chairman of FWU and a Senior Independent Director at Vitality Life. Ian Edward – currently Non-Executive Director of Pizza Pilgrims and Co-founder of Hippo Inns. Martin Gilbert – currently Chairman of Aberdeen Standard Investments. Chris Hitchen – currently Chairman of the £43bn Borders to Coast local authority Pension pool and Non-Executive Director of Nest. William Maltby – currently Chairman of NB Private Equity and Ekins Guinness. Kari Stadigh – currently Vice-Chairman at Nokia and was formerly the President and Chief Executive of Sampo Group, a Nordic insurance group.

Sackers has promoted Naomi Brown, Katharine Swire, Angela Stafford, Emily Rowley and Emily Whitelock to bring its Partner and Lawyer headcount to 29 and 33 respectively. Brown has been elevated to Senior Counsel and Swire to Associate Director, while Stafford, Rowley and Whitelock are now Senior Associates.

Paul Armitage has been appointed as Head of XPS Pension’s National Pension Trust (NPT) in place of the now-retired Dave Hodges. Armitage was formerly the Head of Distribution for the NPT, which became an authorised master trust last year.

The Church Commissioners of England has appointed Bess Joffe as its new Head of Responsible Investment. The Church Commissioners’ £8.7bn fund is used to pay Pensions.

Tom Ground has been appointed as Managing Director of Phoenix Group’s retirement services unit as part of a drive to grow its Open business. Leaving Aviva, where he is currently Managing Director of Annuities and Equity Release, Ground will be responsible for bulk purchase Annuities, individual Annuities and Equity Release.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has appointed Sarah Newton as Chair of the Health and Safety Executive. Newton has 30 years’ experience across strategic planning, leadership and change management across the business and governmental sectors. She was an MP between 2010 and 2019 and has worked for the Home Office.

Quilter Cheviot has hired Richard Pemberton as an Executive Director in its Investment Management team. Based in Jersey, Pemberton returns to the firm where he began his career from Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, where he served as Investment Director of fixed income, responsible for the company's bond fund, among other large bespoke mandates.

Redington Head of Defined Contribution and Financial Wellbeing Lydia Fearn has left the Investment Consultant for a new role at Capita Employee Solutions. Fearn will lead the Investment team at Capita from September.

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has appointed Nick Markham as lead Non-Executive Director (NED). Markham has been appointed to the position for three years and will lead the departmental NEDs and provide independent advice, support and scrutiny on department work.

Baroness Nicky Morgan has been appointed as a Non-Executive Director of the board of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) alongside Cathryn Riley and Wendy Williams.

Charlotte Clark has been appointed as Director of Regulation at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), replacing Hugh Savill who is retiring at the end of the year. Clark is currently the Director of Capability and Learning at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), a role which she has held since April 2019.

Law firm Gunnercooke has bolstered its Pensions team with the appointment of Helen Miles as Partner. Miles has more than 25 years’ experience in the industry and has advised a wide variety of Pension schemes and projects including multi-billion pound scheme Mergers and demergers; advice on liability management projects, buy-ins and buyouts; dealings with The Pensions Regulator; scheme governance and Compliance matters and Pension disputes.

Federated Hermes has hired Jupiter Asset Management's Amélie Thévenet to co-manage its Impact Opportunities fund, as it bolsters its impact team. Thévenet will join Federated Hermes as a Director within the firm's impact team, with a view to becoming a Co-Manager on the Federated Hermes Impact opportunities fund alongside Martin Todd.



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All information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from multiple Financial Services Media sources and individual company press releases.



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