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Wealth Manager: Ashcourt CIO Meadows on his part in the turnaround

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by James Phillipps on Sep 20, 2012 at 00:01

Toni Meadows is a man who likes a challenge and the opportunity to stamp his own authority on a business undergoing change.

Joining Ashcourt Rowan as chief investment officer in March, he came on board at a time when the firm had already undergone something of a revolution since chief executive Jonathan Polin took the helm in August 2011.

‘I have worked in a number of businesses going through change and that is one of the things that attracted me to Ashcourt Rowan,’ Meadows says.

‘But I am no sucker for punishment. We had a lot here already – we are a decent size and have good client retention. We have had a change of management and have done a lot of work on the structure of the business. We now have a good base in place and are positioned for the next growth phase.’

Much of Meadows’ focus has been on building a centralised and co-ordinated investment process and ensuring this is communicated effectively across the business.

Ashcourt Rowan as a group runs £4 billion across its 16 regional offices, with the assets under management roughly split 50/50 between its discretionary arm and Ashcourt Rowan Financial Planning.

The discretionary business has three core service offerings, which means it can cater for every different type of client in a financial advisers’ client bank, Meadows says, with internal and external adviser referrals being the group’s largest source of new business.

The managed portfolio service (MPS), which could be viewed as the base level entry point, comprises eight risk-graded models, which have a single manager and so are delivered in a consistent core format.

The bespoke portfolio service is the next step up, providing asset allocation based on the managed portfolio service, but with clients having an individual named manager.

‘The bespoke portfolio service uses our core best advice lists but can also include direct investments,’ Meadows says. ‘It takes account of any capital gains tax (CGT) liabilities the client may have and they get a named fund manager, so there is a lot more personal contact. It is designed to be bespoke.’

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