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Wealth Manager: Walker Crip's new CIO on his post-RDR restructuring

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by Annabelle Williams on Sep 13, 2012 at 00:01

As the march of industry change accelerates toward the retail distribution review (RDR), the market seems divided between those willing to try out new ventures, and those preferring the safety of a well-trodden path.

Walker Crips’ recently installed chief investment officer Mark Rushton is firmly in the former camp. Joining earlier this year after a stint as head of offering at BNP Paribas Wealth Management, Rushton plans to take Walker Crips from a successful but comfortable position as a mid-size listed stockbroker and asset manager to a leading role, exploring the possibilities of the post-RDR world.

Less than a year into the job, change is well and truly under way at Walker Crips and alongside chief executive Rodney Fitzgerald, Rushton has been instrumental in a number of significant, modernising developments.

‘The nature of the business needed to move on,’ he explains. ‘I was hired very much to kick that off.’

Growing the company’s relationships with independent financial advisers (IFAs) is the first thing on the cards.

A model portfolio range, which is ‘very much geared towards IFAs’ will launch imminently, while its bespoke discretionary service will be opened up to the market with a new, lower cost charging structure.

Unusually in a commoditised market, Rushton has aimed to make the portfolios extra-customisable, with the service containing up to 20 models instead of the more usual four or five-strong range.

The Actively Managed Portfolio Service is expected to be distributed on platforms, consisting of five risk levels of defensive, cautious, intermediate, progressive and adventurous, each with an income and growth version, alongside a collectives-only or combination of collectives and direct equities option.

The bespoke offer will feature a revamped ‘clean’ pricing structure of 1% annually plus VAT, with a minimum investment level of £100,000.

The minimum investment for the model portfolio service has been set at £25,000, while the annual management fee has been set slightly lower at 0.8% plus VAT.

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