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Tech trouble sees Close Bros turn away new clients

Tech trouble sees Close Bros turn away new clients

Close Brothers Asset Management has been turning away new clients from its self-directed service for over two months, due to an ongoing systems upgrade.

The company said it is ‘making enhancements to the way our clients can view and manage their portfolios online’. A spokesperson added: ‘More capabilities are planned for the medium term within the service’. While this takes place, the self-directed service has suspended accepting new clients. The service is working normally for existing clients and Close Brothers AM expects to re-open to new applicants later this month.

In its full annual report, covering the year to 31 July, filed at Companies House last week, the firm indicated that it continues to invest in its IT services, saying that ‘there are major investment projects across a number of our businesses to enhance our customer offering’.

Over the period, advisers and wealth managers in the asset management division were shifted onto a new combined technology platform which consolidates custody, trading and administration and looks to improve the client experience.

In a separate move, Close Brothers Group has reviewed its remuneration policy, which had been approved by shareholders in 2014, to create increased ‘alignment with our business model, market best practice and shareholder interests’.

The new policy has simplified the long-term variable remuneration by replacing the current long term incentive plan (LTIP) and share matching plan with a single LTIP award. The current maximum opportunity of 400% of salary for the group chief executive and group finance director will also be reduced to 350% of salary.

Following strong results for the company, the total remuneration for group chief executive Preben Prebensen in 2017 was £3.4 million, while group finance director Jonathan Howell earned £2.5 million.

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