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Financial Services Newsletter - Friday 6th November 2020

06 Nov 2020

The FCA contacted 55 authorised firms between 1 January 2019 and 1 August 2020 asking them to amend or withdraw approved financial promotions over concerns they may have been misleading. The regulator said it has not taken any formal enforcement action against any of the firms, but it has ‘a number of ongoing investigations’ into firms ‘where the suspected misconduct relates in some way to the communication of financial promotions’.

Tilney Smith & Williamson is asking retired shareholders to sell equity back to the firm so that it can be used to reward younger talent. In a letter to shareholders, seen by Wealth Manager, Chief Executive Officer Chris Woodhouse said the newly-merged firm is considering the possibility ‘of arranging an offer’ to retired shareholders to buy back company shares ‘to make awards to our high performing and high potential talent’.

 
A whistleblower has raised concerns with the FCA about national IFA Succession Wealth’s secret proposals to introduce an ‘implementation fee’ for pension transfers, despite the contingent charging ban. In the past few weeks, the whistleblower contacted the regulator flagging concerns around Succession’s proposed implementation fee and how it would fit in with the FCA’s landmark ban on contingent charging for defined benefit (DB) transfers.  

 

Dynamic Planner has launched a new cashflow planning tool after speaking to Advisers about their suitability concerns. The company says the revamped offering will help advisers demonstrate suitability for clients, as well as removing ‘miscalibration risk’ off the table in the planning process.

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. Director Richard Lord no longer works at the business.

Quilter Financial Planning has told its Positive Solutions Advisers that their retention fees will more than double early next year as the advice network continues to revamp its business model. National advice business Positive Solutions was acquired by Intrinsic for £9.5m in June 2013. Eight months later, Intrinsic was bought by Old Mutual Wealth. Old Mutual Wealth later rebranded as Quilter. 

UK regulators have fined Goldman Sachs International (GSI) £96.6m for ‘risk management failures’ linked to £5bn in fundraising transactions with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). The Malaysian state-owned development company was at the centre of billion-dollar embezzlement allegations between 2012 and 2013. Goldman Sachs underwrote, purchased and arranged three bond transactions for 1MDB in 2012 and 2013 that raised a total of £5bn (US$6.5bn) for 1MDB. 

Total client assets at AJ Bell rose 8% in the 12 months to September as customers continued to sign up to the platform, pushing its total funds above £56bn. In a trading update, the firm said client numbers rose 29% in the period, as it added 62,925 customers to reach a total of 281,094. 

Tatton Asset Management has taken in another £328.1m of net inflows to boost its assets under management to £7.8bn. The discretionary Fund Manager and IFA support services provider saw its assets under management rise by £1.2bn for the six months to 30 September, through investment performance and net inflows of £328.1m.

Baillie Gifford has made headlines in recent months after a series of long-term bets proved big pandemic winners, driving its assets and fund performance to record highs. The Edinburgh-based company’s assets under management jumped from a low of £197bn in mid-March to £262bn at the end of June, having started the year at £218bn. By September, the figure reached £282bn.

The government has extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to March 2021. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the government will continue to pay 80% of people’s wages until the end of March under the furlough scheme. The scheme extension will cover the whole of the UK.

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.

Staff at Lloyds Banking Group are to continue remote working until next Spring at the very earliest, the group has said. In a statement, the company said its decision was in line with current government guidelines, which encourage people to work from home where possible.

 

 

 Nucleus is to acquire OpenWealth in a £1.5m deal for the Glasgow-based outsourcer in a deal the company said will allow it greater control its processes and products. Nucleus Founder and Chief Executive David Ferguson said: ‘Nucleus has continued to grow in recent years and we expect the greater control afforded by the acquisition to further strengthen our positioning as we pursue our goal of being the most tech-enabled wrap platform in the UK.’.


Fidelity International has acquired Legal & General Investment Management’s UK personal investing business. The acquisition will double the number of customers for Fidelity’s personal investing business and form part of its Personal Investing platform.

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. 

Walker Crips has purchased the client book and assets of Yorkshire Financial Adviser MA Heap and will employ Founder and Principal Mark Heap on a consultancy basis. A spokesperson for the company declined to specify how much the purchase would add to its client assets. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

Momentum Global Investment Management Limited (MGIM) has struck a deal to buy Seneca Investment Managers (SIM) for an undisclosed sum. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, creates an asset management business with £4.7bn in assets under management, operating from MGIM’s London and SIM’s Liverpool bases. There are not expected to be any redundancies following the deal.

Tilney's Chief Investment Officer Chris Godding is leaving the firm at the end of November, appearing to be the first casualty of its Merger with Smith & Williamson.

In further news...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.

Former Brewin Dolphin Chief Operating Officer Grant Parkinson has been appointed Regional Head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Standard Chartered Private Bank. He replaces Steve Atkinson, who is leaving Standard Chartered in December after three decades at the company. He will work alongside Parkinson over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

The financial planning and advice teams at the Standard Life Aberdeen subsidiary will be jointly led by Colin Dyer and Neil Messenger, with a focus on clients and growth.

RBC Wealth Management hired two fixed income specialists as it continues to enhance its advisory investment solutions for private banking clients in Asia. Shawn Sim has joined RBC Wealth Management’s investment solutions and products team in Singapore as Head of Fixed Income Advisory. Joining Sim and reporting to him, is Kennard Ling. Ling joins as Fixed Income Specialist from Citibank Singapore, where he was part of the advisory and trading desk responsible for business growth across Asia-Pacific.

National Friendly has appointed Toney Quinn as Business Development Manager. He spent seven years with The Exeter as a Key Accounts Manager and prior to that, he was an Intermediary Sales Manager at AXA PPP.

Mediolanum International Funds - the European asset management platform of Mediolanum Banking Group has appointed Karoline Keane as Head of Product Development and Alberto Nova as Head of Marketing and Communications.

Brewin Dolphin's Bristol office has hired Jonathan May as a Financial Planner. He has over 27 years of experience and joins Brewin Dolphin from Hargreaves Lansdown, where he was a Senior Adviser helping high net worth individuals and businesses.

Investec Wealth & Investment
has appointed Leigh Yeaman as Head and Divisional Director of its Belfast office. Yeaman replaces Samuel Brown, who retired at the end of September. She first joined Investec as an Investment Director in 2015.

Former Jupiter Chief Executive Edward Bonham Carter stepped down from the board to take up a new role focusing on the firm’s stewardship and corporate responsibility. Jupiter said the decision would allow Bonham Carter greater flexibility to manage his portfolio of external appointments, while enabling the fund business to benefit from his considerable experience in responsible investing.

Citywire AAA-rated Alister Hibbert is to step back from the €5bn (£4.5bn) BlackRock European Dynamic and BGF Continental European Flexible funds to focus on his long/short equity strategy, with AAA-rated Giles Rothbarth taking over as sole lead. Rothbarth was assigned to jointly run the fund at the start of 2019 and will assume sole responsibility when the change comes into effect on 1 January.

Brown Shipley hired two Senior Executives from Julius Baer and Deutsche Wealth, as it also saw one departure from its ranks. Calum Brewster, latterly Head of UK Regions at Julius Baer, joined Brown Shipley as Head of Private Banking, replacing Guy Healey. The private bank has also hired former Deutsche’s Head of Key Client Partners Raphael Drescher in the newly created role of Head of UK Family Investment Office, based in London. 

Liontrust’s Asian income team left to join Somerset Capital. The Asian income team of Mark Williams, Carolyn Chan and Shashank Savla all joined Somerset, taking the £82m Liontrust Asia Income fund, while the Liontrust GF Asia Income fund will close.

Cazenove Capital made five hires from UBS and LGT Vestra to support its expansion into the Northwest and Southwest. Four Portfolio Directors from UBS – Simon Pearson, Richard Walker, Simeon Livesey and Mark Mace – joined to found a Manchester office, which will open in the first quarter of next year beneath Pearson. Robert Nye, who joined from LGT Vestra Bristol, will be responsible for heading up the Bristol team, having spent over four years as a Wealth Manager advising entrepreneurs and business owners in the region.

Mayfair fund boutique Whitman Asset Management hired two Quilter Cheviot veterans to lead its private client service. The new division will be jointly led by Cheviot veteran Michael Pallett and his former colleague Victoria Stevenson. The service will offer multi-asset portfolio management, focusing on individual client objectives.

Asset management sales stalwart Alex Hoctor-Duncan was promoted to global head of Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI). In the newly created position, Hoctor-Duncan leads the firm’s global client-facing asset management distribution function, reporting to ASI Chief Executive Stephen Bird.

Robo-advice business Nutmeg appointed ex-Tilney Financial Adviser Christopher Liebetrau as its new Head of Advice. The robo-advice and investment business has been looking for a replacement to fill its Head of Advice position since its former advice boss, Lisa Caplan, left the business in January. 

Santander Asset Management (SAM) transferred three Fund Managers to Schroders, along with the £1.2bn in UK equity mandates they ran. SAM UK equity Fund Managers Citywire A-rated Graham Ashby, Duncan Green and Ashley Thomas moved to Schroders to continue to oversee the assets. Ashby and Green joined as Portfolio Managers, while Thomas will move as a Research Analyst.

The veteran Head of Quilter Cheviot’s Manchester arm, David Rothburn, stepped down from the post. Simon Funge, who recently joined the business from regional advice firm Worldwide Financial Planning, assumed leadership of the division.

Rathbones veteran Graham Withers was appointed to the newly created role of Head of Discretionary Investment at Peregrine & Black, the boutique he joined in mid-2019.

UBS Wealth Management appointed a new Northwest boss and hired a Director for its Manchester office, as it expands its team in the ‘entrepreneurial hub’. Jane Booth replaced Simon Pearson as the private bank’s Northwest Regional Head, after working for four years at UBS managing the wealth of entrepreneurs in the area.

GAM announced it had appointed its first Head of Environmental, Social and Governance Investment, without naming who had been chosen to fill the role. In a statement alongside a trading update, the group said: ‘We are seeing strong momentum in our sustainability initiatives to support both the growth and transparency pillars of the strategy.’.

Anthony Cleaver has retired from his role as Novia’s Chairman and will be replaced by ex-Matrix Co-Founder David Royds

Quilter Investors has appointed Premier Miton as Manager of its Corporate Bond and Diversified Bond funds. The cash will follow former Manager and new Premier Miton Head of fixed income Lloyd Harris following his recruitment from Merian, as it was merged into new owner Jupiter.#

Redmayne Bentley continues its growth and hiring spree by hiring Business Development Manager Nicholas Partington from Investec.

 

 

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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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