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WH Ireland could close offices as it launches cost cutting review
by Elsa Buchanan on Apr 08, 2014 at 07:56
WH Ireland is undertaking measures to reduce costs and has started a review of its wealth management arm, including the viability of some of its smaller offices.
Last month, Dan Cowland was hired from Shore Capital as finance director with the remit to ‘squeeze a lot of costs out of the company’, WH Ireland chief Richard Killingbeck (pictured) explained. This includes a review of the firm’s lower net worth accounts
‘We have a high cost-to-income ratio and are focusing on reducing our cost base. We are reviewing our smaller accounts,’ Killingbeck said.
‘We don’t want to close our smaller accounts, but where they are less than £500,000, they should be in a pooled fund. We have not set a minimum but we will look at that – maybe £100,000.’
The review will also extend to WH Ireland’s smaller offices to assess their viability.
‘We are looking at everything. We have some very small offices – one-man offices, which in the current regulatory environment poses some challenges, so we are looking at those,’ the chief executive said.
The news comes after WH Ireland recently launched an office in the Isle of Man, as part of its strategy to grow its discretionary wealth management business.
Elsewhere, its final results revealed a 43% increase in assets under management to £2.5 billion in 2013.
The company is also making efforts to take advantage of the minimum asset requirements larger banks are imposing on smaller clients.
‘The large banks in the private client space are moving up their minimums and that is presenting us with opportunities,’ Killingbeck said.
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