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Williams drawn to Cofunds culture, Eppinger says
by Daniel Grote on Jul 16, 2008 at 12:31
The change in culture that followed the merger of Skandia and Selestia helped spur Brett Williams towards the chief executive position at Cofunds, according to Cofunds chairman Charlie Eppinger.
Eppinger (pictured) argued the changes that took place after the merger of Skandia and Selestia, which Williams founded, made him more open to the approach from Cofunds.
‘It changed the culture of the organisation. It just wasn’t the organisation he had started with. When he was contacted for this one, he was really interested,’ he said at the company's annual general meeting.
Eppinger said that independence from life companies and product providers was a key motivation for those that applied for the chief executive position.
Despite Legal & General’s 25% stake in Cofunds, Eppinger claimed it was seen as the ‘leading independent platform’.
‘Everyone else is either owned by an insurance company or a product provider,’ he said.
Sixty-five people contacted Cofunds over the chief executive position, a number that was whittled down to around 25 for the interview stage, but William’s experience of running a UK platform from scratch was key to his success, according to Eppinger.
‘I could argue that he was smarter than we were – he brought it to profitability quicker than we did ,’ Eppinger said, referring to Williams’ record at Selestia.
Eppinger went on to sound a warning for smaller and newer players in the platform space, arguing they could suffer from the current difficult market conditions.
‘If you are a new entrant or you don’t have a lot of assets, you are going to get killed in this market,’ he said.
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