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What's Rathbone up to? Why the firm swooped on a Cornish wealth adviser
by Annabelle Williams on Oct 12, 2012 at 07:00
Rathbone is hoping to benefit from ‘disenfranchised’ clients of high street banks through its new stake in a south-westerly IFA, head of investment management Paul Chavasse has said.
He also said he was keen that Rathbone, headed by chief executive Andy Pomfret (pictured), would never ‘foist’ advice on clients, and unlike some competitors would keep the businesses very separate.
Chavasse spoke to Wealth Manager shortly after the firm announced it had taken a 19.9% stake in Vision Independent Financial Planning and sister company Castle Investment Solutions. The firm also has the option to take complete ownership of the adviser by 2015 conditional to certain targets being met.
Chavasse said he expects Vision to capitalise on the fallout from the decision by many big banks to move away from providing mass market advice.
‘I think the interest for us is that it helps us access a client base that hasn’t always been that easy to get at in the past, what I would call disenfranchised high street bank clients. There’s huge change precipitated by the RDR and every single one of the high street banks announced they are changing their offer to some extent.’
He added: ‘The fact that banks are pulling back or moving to more standardised offering we think creates great opportunities for Vision.’
Vision will continue to operate independently of Rathbone and will still refer clients on to other investment managers.
Chavasse said he had noticed a trend for wealth managers to ‘foist’ advice on clients and was keen for the investment and advice divisions to remain separate. Rathbone is not looking to become classed as ‘independent’ post-RDR through enhancing its financial planning offering, he added.
‘Some competitors are putting financial advisers on the end of every fund manager desk. We are very clearly not doing that,’ he said.
‘If you say to the client “you have to have both” [advice and investment management] that’s not giving the client choice,’ he said. ‘That foisting is definitely not a word that we want to be associated with.’
The Rathbone group already has a small team of eight financial advisers working from its London office and this arm will be classed as independent post-RDR while the investment division will be restricted.
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