The troubles of discretionary fund manager (DFM) Beaufort Securities continue, as it has lost two investment managers to St James’s Place (SJP), leading to the closure of one of its branches.
New Model Adviser®'s sister title Wealth Manager understands the departure of Nick Williams, who was recruited from Brewin Dolphin to set up its North East office, and Michael Fergus Westwood, another Brewin alumni, resulted in the closure of the Newcastle branch.
The office, which served investors in the North East and Cumbria, has been removed from the company’s website, with Beaufort now left with two regional branches, alongside its London headquarters.
Williams and Westwood both joined SJP in August to set up two separate partnerships. SJP has confirmed their appointment as associate partners.
Beaufort Securities did not respond to a request for comment.
Williams was previously an assistant director at Brewin Dolphin, where he worked for over eight years. Westwood was a divisional director at the company prior to joining Beaufort in 2016.
Beaufort Securities has recently also lost its Bristol office head Tom Sayers, who joined Whitechurch Securities to help grow its Personally Tailored Service.
The company’s difficulties started in December when its discretionary fund management permissions were restricted by the regulator.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) imposed restrictions limiting the activities it can undertake without consulting the regulator.
The FCA also asked Beaufort’s chief executive Tanvier Malik to keep it constantly updated of the firm’s compliance procedures.
In Beaufort’s latest financial results, for the 12 months to 31 December, the company stated that it ‘became aware of possible suitability of investment issues in the DFM department’.
It added that it voluntarily agreed to stop conducting discretionary business until a review is completed.
In July, it was revealed that the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) told Beaufort to pay compensation to a client who lost £71,000 through high risk AIM listed stock investments in his portfolio.
In the results, the company added: ‘At the date of approval of these accounts, the directors are not able to quantify the impact of any losses arising from compensation claims over and above the insurance cover, accordingly, no provision is reflected in these accounts. These potential financial liabilities and their potential impact are continuing to be monitored by the directors.’