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Financial Services Newsletter - Friday 27th November 2020

27 Nov 2020

Schroders and Big Society Capital (BSC) has teamed up to launch a social impact trust. Schroders, which is seeking £100m for the Schroders BSC Social Impact Trust (BSCSI), will be seeded through five BSC impact fund and two co-investment debt portfolios, which have between them £40m investment.

Hargreaves Lansdown Co-Founder Stephen Lansdown has sold another £103m of his shares in the business, taking advantage of a share spike following the positive vaccine test results. Lansdown founded the discount Broker with fellow Founder Peter Hargreaves in 1981. 

Tavistock Investments is setting its leadership team tougher performance targets in a restructure of its incentive scheme. The wealth consolidator said it would hold a general meeting on 16 December to approve the creation of a new class of growth shares. Tavistock earlier this year said it would cancel more than £7.3m in deferred share awards, which were recognised as a liability on its balance sheet despite being unlikely to ever vest, as it shored up its finances and renew its dividend.

Charles Stanley profits declined by 27.5% in the six months to September as revenues dragged and the firm was hit with a 66% increase in its Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) bill. Profits fell from £9.1m to £6.6m after a 9.4% decline in assets under management (AUM) to £22.1bn dragged revenues 4.1% lower to £81.9m.

Digital Wealth Manager Nutmeg has partnered with JP Morgan Asset Management (JPM) to launch a range of risk-rated smart alpha exchange-traded fund (ETF) portfolios. Through the partnership, Nutmeg will offer clients the choice of passive ETFs or the smart alpha portfolios, which will include active equity ETFs based on JPM research analysts. The active elements of the portfolio will be ESG integrated.

National IFA Succession Wealth is putting about 30 staff at risk of redundancy as part of a review of its structure. The roles affected are in its platform, client services management and back-office teams, with certain staff members informed last week they will be placed under redundancy consultation. However the firm also said it is recruiting for new roles and it will seek to ‘retain all of our colleagues’ skills and experience’ where possible.

Discretionary Fund Manager (DFM) Tatton saw assets hit £7.8bn in the first six months of its financial year as the number of advice firms using it rose 20%. Half-year results covering the six months from March to September 2020 showed that 624 advice firms now use Tatton as a DFM, compared to 529 at the same point in 2019. Client account numbers increased from 61,250 in September last year to 68,500 this year. 

Investment bank Goldman Sachs could make a surprise move into the UK advice market. The US investment giant has held talks with national IFA Ascot Lloyd about a possible takeover in recent months. The investment banking group has been ‘looking at ways to enter the UK advice space’ after previously attempting to make moves into the retail investment market.

Adviser directory Unbiased has removed four listings on its directory for St James’s Place (SJP) partner firms.These included listings for Atlantic Wealth Consultancy, Sovereign Wealth, Jon Purnell Wealth Management and Eddicott Wealth Management, all of which are appointed representatives of SJP. The listings said the firms were representatives of SJP, but listed them as ‘restricted – whole of market’. 

‘It comes back to the adage that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,’ says Tom Sayers of the founding of Bristol-based Severnside Financial Planning. Here's why Sayers and his business partners and Co-Directors Ian McIver and Simon Snook decided that 2020 was the right time to set up their own advice firm- ‘Through corridor conversations we had all formulated the opinion that within this industry, particularly over the past few years, there has been so much consolidation and so many changes that it doesn’t matter where you are in a business. Unless you are in control of the ship, your future is always somewhat opaque and could change at any time,’ says Sayers.

Cardiff-based IFA Bartholomew Hawkins Ltd, a business that advised members of the British Steel Pension Scheme, has gone into liquidation. According to notices on the FCA register and The Gazette, the business entered liquidation on 23 October 2020.

The Bank of England is to inject another £150bn into the UK economy as the country braces itself for a second Covid wave. The news came as the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) kept interest rates at a record low of 0.1%. There has been speculation in the run-up to this month’s meeting the MPC could move to negative rates for the first time in history to help boost spending and encourage banks to lend.

National advice firm Fairstone has acquired Hampshire-based IFA Cube Financial Planning. The acquisition will add 153 clients and £150m in funds under management to the business, along with two Advisers and one support staff. Fairstone acquired Cube through its downstream buy-out (DBO) model, where it takes a stake in an advice firm and integrates it into the business over a two-year period before purchasing it. This marks the firm’s eighth acquisition through its DBO programme this year.

Wrap platform Nucleus has acquired outsourcing firm Genpact Wealth Management UK for £1.5m in a bid to increase ‘control over its processes, service offering and product development’. Glasgow-based Genpact Wealth Management UK, trading as OpenWealth, has provided outsourcing services to Nucleus since 2011, including administration and account servicing. The firm is a subsidiary of international professional services giant Genpact. 

Aegon’s Managing Director of platform solutions Mark Till is leaving the provider to become the new Chief Executive of employee benefits firm Unum International. Till, who is responsible for all of Aegon UK’s business revenue and proposition for Advisers, will become the new boss of Unum on 1 February, subject to regulatory approval.

Martin Gilbert has joined the board of Saranac Partners as a Non-Executive Director. The Co-Founder and former Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management has been a long-standing supporter of the business, backing the group through multiple fundraisings. 

Ascentric Chief Executive Rob Regan is leaving the business at the end of 2020. Regan joined the platform as Chief Executive in May 2018 from Royal London, where he has worked as Group Customer Services Director since March 2014. He led Ascentric through its acquisition by M&G, which completed in September this year. The platform is currently under the leadership of David Montgomery, Managing Director of M&G Wealth Management. Ex-Aegon Chief Operating Officer Richard Denning, who joined Ascentric earlier this year, will become the Interim Chief Executive until a new person is appointed. 

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) has appointed St James’s Place (SJP) Paraplanner Sally Plant as its new Head of Financial Planning. Plant currently covers paraplanning and business development at Essex-based Robur Wealth Management, which is a Partner firm of SJP.

Crispin Odey is to step down as Chief Executive of Odey Asset Management to focus on running his funds as the firm is preparing to rename existing mandates under new branding. The firm is creating a new regulatory entity, Brook Asset Management, and will rebrand an existing range as well as launch some new mandates under the ‘Brook’ name.

Standard Life Aberdeen’s (SLA) advice arm 1825 has restructured its senior leadership team as part of a plan to ‘operate nationally at scale’. The financial planning and advice teams will now be jointly led by Colin Dyer and Neil Messenger. Dyer, who is currently Head of Proposition and Private Client Management at 1825, has been with SLA since 1991 and joined 1825 in 2015, while Messenger joined 1825 as Managing Director last year as part of the acquisition of Grant Thornton.

Anthony Cleaver has retired from his role as Novia’s Chairman and will be replaced by ex-Matrix Co-Founder David Royds. Cleaver became Novia’s chairman in 2007 when the business was formed. Before heading up Novia’s board, Cleaver was a former Chairman and CEO of IBM in the UK. In 1992 he was awarded a knighthood. 

LEBC Group in Manchester has strengthened its team by recruiting Chartered Financial Planner Richard Smith. Richard Smith joins from SJP Senior Partner Practice Bright Wealth Management where Richard spent the last 7 years.

Raymond James has recruited another Brown Shipley veteran to launch a new branch in the City of London. Simon Monk previously worked for Brown Shipley as an Investment Manager for 29 years. In his new role he will oversee a bespoke service including financial planning and advice in areas such as pensions and tax planning.

Jamie Ellis has joined Jerroms Finanical Planning as Associate Financial Planner.



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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