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Financial Services Newsletter - Thursday 5th July 2018

05 Jul 2018

Market News

Adviser back-office provider Intelliflo has been bought by Invesco in a deal which is understood to be worth £200m. The firm behind the popular Intelligent Office software system, used by around a third of UK Advisers, has been backed by private equity company HgCapital since 2013, and since then has been investing in integration projects with robo-advisers and digital investment services like Moneyhub.

Jon Rolfe, a Partner at Epoch Wealth Management, has helped launch a fintech cashflow modelling offering for IFAs. Rolfe, who is an Adviser at the Bath-based advice firm, has launched i4C, a cashflow modelling system. Rolfe is head of i4C’s product advisory board and its Chief Executive is Mark Harman. The tool was originally founded in 2016 for internal use at Epoch Wealth Management, as advisers at the firm found other cashflow tools too simplistic. i4C is due to launch to other Financial Planners in June and, so far, the product has received £2m of investment backing. The offering is a web-based software tool that allows for interactive cashflow modelling. Client objectives are able to be changed immediately.

AIM-listed AFH will pay an initial cash consideration of £1.5m, with a further £1.4m due over the next two months depending on targets being met. Corville Financial Services Directors Debbie and Nick Burchall will join AFH as Advisers following the deal, as will one other employed Adviser at the firm. Alan Hudson, Chief Executive of AFH, said the deal would boost the consolidator's presence in Yorkshire. 

Wealth Manager Charles Stanley has increased the revenues it makes from financial planning by 26% over the last year as it eyes further expansion into this area. Inits annual financial results Charles Stanley said financial planning had raised £6.3m for the business, an increase from £5m last year, which it attributed directly to a new pricing model and ‘value proposition’. Revenues per financial planner increased from £268,000 to £369,000. It has 21 Financial Planners currently, (18 in 2017).

The owner of a wealth planning firm which was wound up in March with more than £13m in investor money missing has been charged with fraud by City of London Police. Freddy David, Managing Director of the collapsed London planner HBFS, was charged and released on bail with an order to appear at the City of London Magistrates Court early next month.

A Northern Irish Adviser who had experienced alcoholism and mental health issues has been banned and fined £30,000 for faking his qualifications. Darren Cummings of DCC Financial in Belfast created two counterfeit statements of professional standing (SPS), claiming they had been legitimately issued to him by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). In a final notice, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said Cummings had ‘fabricated’ the documents ‘to give the misleading impression that he had attained the appropriate qualifications to provide investment advice to retail customers'.

Losses at Standard Life-owned platform Elevate have shot up with it recording a loss of £21.6m for 2017. This was up 122% from 2016 when the platform recorded a loss after tax of £9.7m. The platform has been loss-making for a number of years now, both before and after it was bought by Standard Life. Despite this the company maintains the platform will be profitable by 2019. Fee income from the platform was at £37.5m for 2017, up 13%. However, administration costs for the year rose 51% to £66.6m.

Investment and advice business Tavistock has hinted it could enter the robo-advice market later this year. Tavistock Chief Executive Brian Raven said the company may look at integrating robo-advice into its business offering. Following its profitable full-year results, Raven highlighted that the business has a focus on ‘growing organically’. In the next six months and as the group continues to develop, Tavistock will look to enhance its platforms via the use of technology. A robo-advice service ‘will allow Advisers to become more efficient’ and improve processes, the Chief Executive said.

National advice firm Chase de Vere has reported its fourth consecutive full year of profitability as the acquisition of a medical advice specialist helped boost revenues and Adviser numbers. According to the company’s full-year results to 31 December 2017, a profit of £5.7m was recorded before tax, slightly lower than its £5.8m profit recorded in 2016. Chase de Vere said the continued profit was due to a combination of increased revenue associated with key partnerships, a general increase in global market performance and contributions from its acquisition of Medical Money Management in September last year.



Market Movers and Shakers

Asset Manager Brooks Macdonald has appointed Chartered Financial Planner Simon Brookes as a Director within its growing financial planning arm.

Tenet Group Chief Executive, Martin Greenwood, will retire before the end of the year.

Brewin Dolphin has hired Philip Chambers as an Investment Manager in its Jersey office.

The Chief Executive of the Co-Operative Bank is to step down from the role. Liam Coleman joined the company in June 2013 as Treasurer and is considered to have been an "integral member" of the management team leading the turnaround since then.

AIM-listed national IFA Frenkel Topping has announced a reshuffle to its board with Non-executive Director Mark Richards stepping down. Richards is being replaced by Tim Linacre who is becoming a Senior Independent Director at Frenkel Topping.

Schroders has appointed former Tilney Chief Executive Peter Hall as Global Head of Wealth Management.

Smith & Williamson in Birmingham have made a key hire and have taken on Chan Kooner from Brewins. Chan will be joining Dan Morris on their financial planning team.

Eastwood Financial Services in West Yorkshire have triumphed through a period of growth and have hired Clive Yemm as a Chartered Financial Planner.

Foster Denovo in Sheffield has recently added Paul Naylor to the team as a Senior Technical Support Technician to support one of the Key Partners within the business.

Lockton Benefits in London have recently appointed Lauren Jennings from Barnett Waddingham as Healthcare Account Manager to bolster their support team inline with recent business growth.

Mercer in London have prevailed through a period of growth and have hired Alex Bunt from Capita to support with their further growth plans within the Health and Benefits space.

Capita Employer Solutions have recently added Andrew Ridgley from Aon to their Flex team in London to support with their ongoing proposition development and offering to clients.

Finch Employee Benefits in Manchester has hired David Farebrother from Mercer. Prior to Mercer, David worked for JLT as a Senior Consultant.

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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