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Financial Services Newsletter - Wednesday 6th December 2017

06 Dec 2017

Market News

Thesis Asset Management has purchased Cambridge Fund Managers, a discretionary investment manager with £30m in funds under management. Thesis says the deal comes as part of a wider acquisition strategy following its management buyout earlier this year. The company says it is interested in exploring “further opportunities” with smaller discretionary fund managers (DFMs) who are considering their options.

Broadstone Group has acquired the Manchester-based independent actuarial consulting company, Mitchell Consulting and independent trustee business, 2020 Trustees. The acquisitions increase Broadstone's employee headcount to 170 staff and expand its regional UK network across 5 location (Falkirk, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield).

Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Advisers division has bought out wealth adviser, Coleman Clough. The purchase was agreed for an undisclosed sum, and will add £33m to the company's assets under advice. Roy Clough, the Founder and Director of Coleman Clough will remain with the busines through a handover period before retiring, whilst office clients will be serviced from the exisiting Old Mutual branches in Yorkshire. 

Bus company, Stott Tours in Oldham, has been accused by Pensions Regulator for failing to comply with the law on automatic enrolment. Its Managing Director Alan Stott is accused of consenting or conniving in the company's offence, or allowing it to be committed by neglect. The offences have been brought under section 45 of the Pensions Act 2008. It is the first time the regulator has launched a prosecution for these offences.

Five men have been jailed for a £100 million tax scheme which conned hundreds of celebrities.The scheme, which is believed to be the biggest tax fraud in UK history, used ‘ethical’ environmental projects to convince investors they could reduce their tax bills by investing in reforesting projects in Brazil and China. A total of 730 investors signed up to the scheme, induced by the offer of an immediate large return - a £20,000 investment would result in a successful claim for £320,000 in tax relief. According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the scheme attempted to deceive HMRC into believing that the overall project was much larger than it was, and into granting false tax relief. The schemes generated apparent 'losses' of £269.8 million, which they said had been spent on research and development. This put HMRC at risk of losing approximately £107million in tax as the defendants siphoned off large sums of money. 

Old Mutual Wealth will change its name to Quilter as part of plans for a major restructure to the business. In an announcement this morning, Old Mutual Wealth said its plans to float in 2018 ‘remains on track’ which will see the UK company separated from its South African parent Old Mutual plc. The firm has now said this separation will also coincide with a rebrand, with the Old Mutual Wealth name replaced by Quilter. Quilter will be split into two divisions, Advice and Wealth Management, and Wealth Platforms.

Quilter Cheviot has launched a discretionary managed Alternative Investment Market (AIM) portfolio, combining its expertise with Old Mutual Global Investors. The strategy will provide UK-based high net worth investors with access to a number of AIM-listed companies that qualify for business relief. The AIM market currently has 959 listings worth an average of £104.5m. It will be managed by Quilter Cheviot's equity research team overseen by Chief Investment Strategist Alan McIntosh, alongside Citywire AAA-rated Dan Nickols, Head of UK Mid and Small cap equities at Old Mutual Global Investors (OMGI).

LEBC is launching a graduate programme which will lead to Chartered Financial Planner status in a bid to tackle a shortage of young recruits. The company has unveiled a new Academy which will be run for both LEBC’s ‘Foundation’ business, which includes advising and servicing private and corporate clients and branch network, and its ‘The Retirement Adviser’ business, which includes Defined Benefits pension scheme work for corporations and large employers and their employees. 

Wealth firm Full Circle Asset Management (FCAM) has been told to pay out to a client who was seeking £1.8m in damages. David Rocker, a retired businessman, took the company to court claiming that FCAM was in breach of contract when managing his medium risk portfolio. The judge found FCAM in breach of mandate as well as contract each time it failed to sell an asset which lost more than 5% of its value. The judge, Justice Morris, stated that the precise calculation of the quantum should be agreed between the two parties. If they cannot, he will hear further arguments.

Scottish fintech trading firm Beeks Financial Cloud Group has raised £7m from its float on the Alternative Investment Market. The £24.5m firm - which was founded in 2011 and is based close to Linwood in Renfrewshire - allows traders and institutions to execute trades more quickly through cloud-based computing by offering clients access to servers located near exchanges. Beeks said the money raised from the placing will help the business to accelerate growth and take advantage of new opportunities. 

Brewin Dolphin has rolled out additional advice services to cater to clients' financial needs. This includes a new wealth planning and investment advice service 'WealthPilot' which is aimed at the wider market "with simpler needs" as well as a wealth planning service targeting clients with more complex and sophisticated needs. These new services mean that Brewin Dolphin will compete with rival Financial Advisers and Wealth Managers for the same type of clients.

AFH has acquired Chichester-based JW Wealthcare for £1.1m. JW Wealthcare's John Walpole will join AFH as a Financial Adviser. The acquisition is expected to contribute an aggregate of approximately £300,000 of recurring revenue to AFH.



Market movers and shakers

Neil Taylor joined OCM Wealth Management in Northampton from Wren Sterling as a Financial Planner

Tilney has appointed Andrew Kirk as a Financial Planner in their Exeter team. 

Kevin Doran has joined AJ Bell as Managing Director of its investments arm. He will be also taking on the Chief Investment Officer position at the firm. He will be developing AJ Bell's investment solutions which comprises a managed portfolio service and range of five risk-rated passive funds. 

Nick Hooper has quit this position at Credo Wealth to launch his own firm, London Investment Management. The firm will aim to cater for family offices and professional clients. 

WH Ireland has appointed Mike Ingram as Chief Market Strategist. Ingram will focus the firm's client-facing activities , providing insightful market and political commentary through thought-leadership.

Barclays Wealth & Investments has appointed Tim Tateas Head of Client and Customer Experience. Tate will be responsible for leading the business' focus on creating client-led solutions and helping to deliver its plans for growth.

Brett Hollick joined Becket Employee Benefitsin Bury St Edmunds from Wren Sterling as an Employee Benefits Consultant.

Wren Sterling has announced the appointment of Carolanne Robinson as its new Chief Operating Officer. Robinson will replace outgoing COO, Jonathan Merry. Merry will stay during a transition period to help the national IFA manage MiFID II and GDPR implementation in 2018.

Hawksmoor has announced the appointment of Chris Nevile as Senior Investment Manager.

Brewin Dolphin has announced the appointment of Mike Kellard to its board as a Non-executive Director. 

Cavendish Asset Management has appointment Nick Burchett as Manager of UK equities. He will work alongside fund manager Paul Mumford to advise and assist the firm's clients.

Boris F.J. Collardi has quit his CEO post at Julius Baer to lead Pictet's global wealth arm.

Brown Shipley has announced the appointment of Andrew Butler-Cassarin the newly created role, Head of London Office. He will focus on the leadership of London-based client relationship teams.

North West Chartered Financial Planning firm Clarion Wealth has appointed Jonnie Whittle as its new Managing Director.

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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