Killik Chartered Financial Planners managing director Lee Smythe has left the firm to set up his own advisory boutique.
Smythe (pictured), a former Citywire Wealth Manager cover star, has joined fellow financial adviser and former Prudential broker consultant Ben Walter to set up Smythe & Walter Chartered Financial Planners. The firm offers a full range of financial planning services and is hoping to become a platform for advisers seeking to become retail distribution review (RDR) ready.
Smythe explained: ‘We have set up a business which is RDR-ready from day one and set up a platform for advisers to join. We will see advisers leaving the industry if they can’t adjust their businesses for the RDR, so potentially there will be lists of clients that will find themselves adviserless.’
Smythe said although the financial planning business had experienced growth during his time at the firm, it still remained a small part of the overall business, with its traditional primary focus on stockbroking, so he was keen to strike out alone.
He hopes his firm will succeed in gaining trusted adviser status among its clients, with a full financial planning proposition alongside asset allocation and risk profiling services, while initial fund research will be outsourced through Rayner Spencer Mills. He is also looking to outsource to discretionary managers for larger clients.
‘This will allow us to focus on the part that clients value, by focusing on the advice, on their targets and goals and how they can achieve them,’ he said.
‘The part that clients like least is arranging the plan. They want good service, they want to be able to get hold of their adviser and build a long-term relationship. The bit the client values the most tends to be the bit that advisers spend the least amount of time on.’
He said he was looking to bring around £10 million to £15 million under advice in the first year, while the duo establishes the business. ‘We will then look to accelerate that growth from year two by bringing in like-minded advisers with good client followings, in addition to our own continued efforts.’
Smythe’s departure from Killik follows that of fellow cover star Malcolm Cuthbert, who formerly headed up Killik’s financial planning business and established the firm’s wrap service.
Sarah Lord, formerly of Walkers Cripps, and founder of the Wealth Consultancy, has since taken on the role as managing director of the business.