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Ashcourt's turnaround pair resign after addressing Savoy legacy concerns

by Sarah Miloudi on Dec 13, 2012 at 11:00

Ashcourt's turnaround pair resign after addressing Savoy legacy concerns

Ashcourt Rowan's Christopher Jeffreys and Mark Smith have decided to stand down from their roles, having addressed the regulator's legacy concerns within Savoy Investment Management.

Jeffreys served as the wealth manager's chief executive officer of asset management and Smith as its head of compliance.  The pair had been tasked with sorting out the City regulator's suitability concerns with Savoy after it was fined £412,000 earlier this year.

'This has been a huge commitment and now we are reaching the end of this journey they have decided to resign,' said Jonathan Polin, Ashcourt Rowan's group chief executive officer.

Polin will assume Jeffreys' role, acting as his interim replacement.  Jeffreys has decided to remain with Ashcourt Rowan, which recent brought high net worth unit Savoy under its banner, but go back to managing his clients' assets.

Smith, meanwhile, has decided that after 15 years it is time to leave the firm.

'Mark will move on to different challenges but has agreed to continue to work during the next six months to aid the transition of his duties,' Polin (pictured) added.

Following the announcement about Ashcourt's fine in November , Polin spoke frankly to Wealth Manager about the events leading up to it, and the programme of change undertaken at the firm to address the Financial Services Authority's concerns.

Polin said that while he had no issue with the FSA's decision to penalise Ashcourt after two Section 166 orders were issued against it and concerns were raised as part of the watchdog's review into suitability, Polin said he believed Ashcourt would be the first of many firms to face such a penalty.

The wealth boss also explained the suitability issues identified by the regulator centred around Savoy - what Polin termed an 'old fashioned' stockbroker and over the last 12 months Jeffreys and Smith had been charged with addressing the FSA's concerns.

Polin said in Ashcourt's interim financial report, posted today, that the pair had 'worked tirelessly' to complete this task.

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