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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a744182

Why we quit Brewin for Charles Stanley: Leicester Six reveal warts and all

by James Phillipps on Apr 03, 2014 at 14:52

They complained to the then finance director Robin Bayford and Brewin ‘provided a share package as compensation’ for the impact of the Nottingham branch, albeit the defence deemed this ‘inadequate’.

‘The exhausting internal suitability review’

The team’s discontent seemed to really ratchet up in 2010.

In or around the first quarter, the six claim Brewin instigated a ‘substantial ‘suitability review’…in the light of concerns expressed by the FSA’. The employees found the demands ‘exhausting’ as they ‘worked into the night over weekends’, which Hailes said he had to do despite being on paternity leave.

They said following the suitability review, Brewin mandated what they considered a ‘disorganised roll-out of further large-scale projects’, in particular around ‘Know Your Customer’.

They deemed the timescale ‘unrealistic’, backed by ‘inadequate guidance’ and with projects often being ‘revised/and or altered at a late stage’. The six believed it was the result of ‘confused (and disappointing) leadership from the then board of directors.’

‘Admin glitch costs Baker his CISI fellowship status’

Baker said that in the same year, Brewin cancelled his membership of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments (CISI) after an ‘administrative error’, causing him to lose his fellowship status. He said it took him almost four years to be fully reinstated, which caused him ‘considerable personal and professional embarrassment’.

‘Terminate your wife’s investment account’

The grievances continued to rack up in 2011 with Cufflin claiming Brewin decided to ‘terminate his wife’s investment account on account of her American citizenship’.

Around the same time, the team also began to be ‘increasingly concerned’ about the loss of local autonomy and branded the company’s IT services, ‘in particular its portfolio management tool, not fit for purpose’.

‘The external review and ‘Project Amethyst’’

The relationship worsened in late 2011 when following a review by external consultants, Brewin instigated a series of strategic changes dubbed ‘Project Amethyst’.

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3 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Philip Milton

Apr 03, 2014 at 18:16

It always bemuses me.... whether or not such contracts are legally binding..... but conversely, why sign a contract in the first place if you're not intending to honour its terms at the end, whatever happens? Or, what sort of integrity is involved if you believe it is acceptable to go against such contract when relationships change?

If there is a gardening leave period or a no-contact or no direct solicitation clause, then shouldn't it be adhered to regardless of your personal financial circumstances.... or even one could say the legality proven or otherwise.... don't sign in the first place if you don't like it.... and is any new firm likely to receive the same treatment or mete out the same behaviour if the 'same thing' happens in the future...?

What do others think? Is it simply a case of Brewins yesterday, Charles Stanley today and someone else tomorrow?

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Mr X

Apr 03, 2014 at 18:18

This is riveting!

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David Cowell

Apr 03, 2014 at 21:06

The answer to Philip's question is don't work for a large firm; keep it small and personal or take the consequences. Perhaps these people haven't the confidence to go it alone?

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