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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a472265

Rowan Dartington's new CEO: Why we can turn the business around

by Drazen Jorgic on Feb 18, 2011 at 07:00

Rowan Dartington's new CEO: Why we can turn the business around

Rowan Dartington’s new owner and chief executive Graham Coxell (pictured) says the problems that have afflicted the national wealth manager are consigned to history and the business is well positioned to benefit from the retail distribution review (RDR).

Last year, the firm was fined £511,000 by the FSA after a settlement system failure dating back to 2007, and saw its back office saddled with more than 150,000 unreconciled trades. There was also a discovery of a £1.4 million ‘black hole’.

However, Coxell, who brought together a consortium of private investors to buy the business from Astaire Group, believes the company is now on the verge of a turnaround.

He is also encouraged by the fact that several current staff, including the acting managing director David Burrows, provided 15% of the equity in the acquisition.

Coxell said: ‘I’ve done a lot of due diligence on the business and realised [Rowan Dartington] has got a fantastic investment management capability.’

He added another attraction of Rowan Dartington has been Signature, a differently branded part of the business focused on running money on behalf of IFAs.

‘The Signature team, led by [managing director] Andrew Morris and [fund manager] Mark Sevier run around £200 million for IFAs. Leading up to the RDR, they are in a great place.’

Coxell believes the trend of IFAs outsourcing money to discretionary wealth managers will continue, so Signature and other private client businesses that offer strong investment returns will be able to benefit.

He added he has no plans at present to change the name of Rowan Dartingon, despite it being what some observers consider a tarnished brand.

Coxell added that, although he will stick to six branches, he is on the lookout for both individuals and teams of investment managers.

He concluded: ‘I want to expand the teams in places such as Bristol and London.’

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