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Selected business and technology news in the advisory market


Ascot Lloyd appoints new Head of Advice

National IFA firm Ascot Lloyd has appointed Jade Connolly to its newly created role of head of Advice.

Connolly (pictured) joins Ascot Lloyd from Thomas Miller Investment, where she was head of Paraplanning for more than two years.

In her new role, Connolly will be responsible for a strategic review of Ascot Lloyd’s advice process, with the aim of enhancing operational efficiency and adding value for clients.

Key initiatives for the role will include developing a panel of best-of-breed products and platforms to reduce risk and improve client outcomes.

In addition, Connolly will establish a new technical unit supporting Ascot Lloyd’s current service with offerings such as cashflow modeling and new business lines such as Court of Protection work.

The firm said Connolly would play a key role in creating a suite of advice tools to ensure better risk management, consistency and scalability of Ascot Lloyd’s proposition.

She will be based in London and report to Ian Balgarnie, Business Development director. Balgarnie said: “Jade will lead a number of strategic initiatives to grow the business organically and will support our ambition to become the UK’s leading IFA firm.”

AFH acquires Bay Financial Management

AFH Financial has acquired Bay Financial Management, an IFA based in Honiton, Devon, for £1,4m, adding around £73m to AFH’s funds under management.

Seamus Coleman, Simon Durant and Nigel Hull from Bay Financial Management have joined the AFH Group.

Payment of the £1.4 million is being made in three tranches, based on the performance of Bay over the next 24 months. Completion was made on 20 February and saw an initial payment of £595,000 made from AFH”s existing cash resources.

A further £805,000 is deferred and will be payable in a further two tranches over the next 24 months, dependent upon set performance criteria of Bay over the period.

Alan Hudson, chief executive of AFH, said: “This acquisition continues to strengthen our presence in the South West and I look forward to working with Seamus, Simon and Nigel to further develop AFH.

“The acquisition of Bay is our fifth acquisition this year and will be integrated in line with our established model to enhance shareholder value during the current financial year. We continue to have a strong pipeline of future acquisition opportunities.”

AFH acquired Taylor Frost Wealth Management, IFA business based in South West London, on 1 February 2017, for £1.24m, with similar performance based criteria. This added £456m to AFH’s assets under management.

AFH’s has now made five acquisitions in the 2016-2017 financial year and follows the acquisitions of Aberdeen Wealth Management Limited and Shield Direct Limited.

Xafinity joins Openwork SIPP panel

Xafinity SIPP Services Ltd has been appointed to the Openwork SIPP panel. Members of the Openwork advice network can now recommend both the ‘full’ XafinitySIPP and its sister product SimplySIPP.

The XafinitySIPP offers a wide range of SIPP investment options, including commercial property investments. Xafinity administers 1700 commercial properties for its clients in the UK and sees this as a continued area for growth in the SIPP market.

Andy Bowsher, director of Self Invested Pensions at Xafinity said: “Our management team has worked very hard over many years to establish our SIPP business and its products. It’s been a pretty crowded market for some time, but a new order is starting to emerge. We have remained very focused on the basics of providing a great product with personal service, at the right price, and with a strong compliance backbone. This is what underpins our strength.”

Mike Morrow, Wealth & Platform director at Openwork said: “We are delighted to offer this further enhancement to our SIPP proposition and remain keen to ensure that our advisers can progress with real confidence and choice. The Xafinity product and the supporting service is excellent and contains all the options, particularly for commercial property.”



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