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The 12 biggest stories from a turbulent year in wealth management

From high court spats to tech writedowns, we highlight the events that shaped wealth management over the past twelve months.

No year would be complete without consolidation in the wealth management sector and 2014 was no exception. The year was marked by a string of mergers among boutiques and private offices, including Old Mutual’s purchase of Quilter Cheviot, while Rathbones’ appetite for acquisitions continued unabated. From high court spats to tech writedowns, we highlight some of the notable events of the year.

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No year would be complete without consolidation in the wealth management sector and 2014 was no exception. The year was marked by a string of mergers among boutiques and private offices, including Old Mutual’s purchase of Quilter Cheviot, while Rathbones’ appetite for acquisitions continued unabated. From high court spats to tech writedowns, we highlight some of the notable events of the year.

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January

Hargreaves Lansdown, Fidelity FundsNetwork and Barclays Stockbrokers unveil post-RDR unbundled pricing. They revealed the annual management charges they could access on active equity funds, ranging from 0.54% to 0.75%. (Pictured: Ian Gorham, chief executive of Hargreaves Lansdown.)

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February

Wealth Manager breaks the news that Neil Woodford’s eponymous fund firm is launching an income fund. It was rolled out in June and attracted £1.6 billion in the offer period alone.

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March

Wealth Manager breaks the news that Brewin Dolphin is taking Charles Stanley to the High Court over the departure of six former employees in Leicester, who were followed by 12 more Brewin staff. Charles Stanley hit back with a 41-page defence document that laid bare tensions between the six former staff and Brewin’s head office.

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March

Chancellor George Osborne announces wide-reaching changes to ISAs and pensions, abolishing compulsory annuities. The measures are hailed a boon for wealth managers.

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April

Rathbones raises £24 million to fund Jupiter and Tilney acquisitions, pays £43.5 million for Jupiter’s private client arm, dependent on asset transfer, and £14.3 million for Deutsche’s Tilney London team. (Pictured: Maarten Slendebroek, chief executive of Jupiter Management Fund.)

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April

Charles Stanley warns profits will be 10% lower due to post-RDR costs, but subsequently reported a 33% slump to £6.1 million over the year to April. On 8 September its share price falls to a 21-month low after a second profit warning. (Pictured: Sir David Howard, who stood down as chief executive of Charles Stanley this year)

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May

Brewin Dolphin announces to the market it has ditched plans to upgrade to Figaro software across the private client business. The move ultimately cost the firm £31.7 million plus a £2 million charge to settle contractual obligations. (Pictured: Jamie Matheson, former executive chairman of Brewin Dolphin.)

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June

Barclays Wealth & Investment Management chief executive Peter Horrell (pictured) announces he will leave after 10 months in the role. During this time sub-£500,000 clients were moved over to call centres, while 40% of headcount was cut after a strategic review. Other high profile exits include UK wealth management head Henry Fischel- Bock and Europe CIO Kevin Gardiner.

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June

Wealth Manager breaks the news that Coutts is reviewing the suitability of the investment portfolios of all UK clients. Later in the year, it emerges that the private bank is putting aside £110 million to compensate clients affected.

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September

Hargreaves Lansdown announces plans to launch a direct-to-consumer discretionary service. A month later, the platform says it will refer clients seeking bespoke discretionary services to Smith & Williamson and Brooks Macdonald. (Pictured: Danny Cox, head of financial planning at Hargreaves Landsdown.)

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September

Charles Stanley’s CEO Sir David Howard steps down as chief executive after 43 years in the hot seat. In late October, the firm announces CIO Paul Abberley (pictured) as his replacement.

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October

Old Mutual agrees to buy Quilter Cheviot for up to £585 million to create a discretionary management business with £92 billion in FUM. (Pictured: Martin Baines, chief executive of Quilter Cheviot.)

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