The finance industry briefing
The latest news, views and numbers you need to know this month
News in Numbers
Northern Trust has posted a net income of $406.4m, or $1.91 a share in Q4 2021, a 69% growth from $240.9m, or $1.12 per share, in the same period in 2020.
Total revenue increased 9% to $1.68bn from $1.53bn over the period.
The US financial regulator has imposed a fine of $9m on Credit Suisse Securities for various operational failures, such as not revealing conflicts of interest in research reports.
The firm was penalised for non-compliance with rules of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s Customer Protection Rule.
From 2006 to 2017, Credit Suisse issued over 20,000 research reports with inaccurate disclosures about potential conflicts of interest, alleged FINRA.
Scripbox, a Bengaluru, India-based online wealth manager, has raised $21m in a funding round led by Accel Partners.
The fundraising round has seen participation of DMI Alternative Investment Fund through The Sparkle Fund, Transpose Platform, Trifecta Capital, KPB Family Trust, LetsVenture, Kube VC, InnoVen Capital, and YY Capital, besides angel investors such as Freshworks CTO Shanmugam Krishnasamy, Dell Technologies India MD Alok Ohrie and MakeMyTrip founder Deep Kalra.
The firm plans to use the $21m raised in debt and equity to bolster its customer base, new product verticals, and team up with independent financial advisors.
Indian wealth management solutions provider INDmoney has raised around $75m in its financing round as it aims to make its finance app a one-stop solution for investments and expenses.
The financing round has seen participation of Steadview Capital, Tiger Global and Dragoneer Investment Group.
As per the regulatory filings, these firms have invested $25m each.
JPMorgan asset and wealth management (AWM) unit has reported a 46% jump in the net income for the fourth quarter of 2021.
The unit’s net income was $1.1bn for the three months to 31 December 2021, compared to $786m in the same period last year.
Net revenues at the unit increased 16% year-on-year to $4.5bn in Q4.
Barclays gains managing directors for Australia
Barclays has appointed Duncan Beattie and Duncan Connellan as managing director of investment banking in Australia.
Both will be based in Sydney and report to Richard Satchwell, country CEO and head of investment banking, Australia. The goal is to further expand Barclays’ investment banking franchise in Australia.
Beattie will lead the overall delivery of international capital markets financial for clients in Australia and also New Zealand. Connellan, however, will try to expand the coverage of financial sponsors, infrastructure funds and corporate clients. These will deliver leveraged finance, acquisition finance and structured financing solutions.
Credit Suisse chairman resigns for breaking Covid-19 quarantine rules
Credit Suisse chairman António Horta-Osório has resigned from his role following an internal investigation into his personal conduct including violations of Covid-19 quarantine rules.
The bank named board member Axel Lehmann as the new chairman. The appointment is effective immediately.
The board will also propose Lehmann for election as chairman at the upcoming Annual General Meeting on 29 April 2022.
Lehmann was elected to the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse Group on 1 October last year. He was also named as the chair of the group’s Risk Committee.
Prior to that, he held several key positions in UBS Group and was a member of the group executive board.
He has also worked with Zurich Insurance Group for about 20 years and was a member of the group executive committee for nearly 14 years in serval roles.
Schroders makes new appointments in major leadership overhaul
British fund manager Schroders has announced the overhaul of its group-wide leadership team, involving several internal promotions and the exit of two senior executives.
As part of restructure, the firm is set to elevate group CIO Johanna Kyrklund and global head of equities Rory Bateman as the new co-heads of Investment.
Additionally, it promoted EMEA head Karine Szenberg to a global role covering marketing, communications and product.
Schroders global head of Marketing and Communications Beth Saint was added to the group management committee (GMC) as part of the firm’s increased focus on digital client acquisition.
Lesley-Ann Morgan, currently head of Multi-Asset Strategy, will also assume the role of Schroder Unit Trusts CEO, subject to regulatory approval.
Schroders global head of Investment Charles Prideaux is now appointed as the firm’s global head of Strategy and Solutions.
Prideaux will be responsible for global solutions, overseeing the integration of River & Mercantile Solutions division to Schroders. He will also focus on the firm’s corporate development and relationships with key partners.
Phil Middleton, who is currently Institutional North America head, is promoted as head of North America. Middleton will be part of Schroders GMC.
EP Wealth Advisor buys Klein Financial Advisors to expand reach
California-based registered investment advisers (RIA) EP Wealth Advisors has acquired Newport Beach-based Klein Financial Advisors, further expanding its reach in the home market.
The deal, whose financial terms were not disclosed, was closed on 21 January 2022.
Founded by Lauren Klein in 2003, Klein Financial Advisors is a boutique financial planning and wealth management firm. The firm focus on helping women manage their wealth through life’s transitions.
As part of the deal, Klein will take up the role of vice president and senior wealth advisor at EP Wealth Advisors. She is serving as president of Klein Financial Advisors.
Klein said: “My main goal is to instil confidence in women as they navigate life events like parenthood, divorce, re-marriage, being widowed and more. I want them to feel in control of their finances by empowering them with the advice, tools, and resources to help them excel amid life’s ups and downs. That’s why we partnered with EP Wealth. We look forward to the expanded services and offerings for our clients that EP will offer.”
Klein Financial Advisors client service manager Jamie Klein will also move to the EP team.
The latest deal marks EP Wealth’s 22nd transaction in the last five years.
British Ports Association chief executive Richard Ballantyne, following UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement that the Freeports selection process will see the first sites in England set up by the end of 2021:
“This is a welcome development and by being more inclusive in terms of the number of freeports there might be, the government can now explore how to better deliver on its levelling up agenda without picking regions over each other. Coastal communities are often in areas of high deprivation and have also experienced challenges resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown so this potentially transformative policy will be welcomed across a range of suitable locations.”
Decisive expands Swiss presence with Artorius Wealth deal
Geneva-based wealth adviser Decisive Capital Management has taken over the Swiss business of Artorius Wealth Switzerland in Zurich for an undisclosed sum.
The transaction is expected to bolster Decisive’s wealth platform in addition to expanding its reach in Zurich.
Founded in 2015, Manchester-based Artorius offers investment advice to UK entrepreneurs, financial services and private equity professionals as well as clients inheriting wealth.
Owned by management, employees, and HNWI shareholders, the business currently oversees £1.5bn in assets.
ESR wraps up $5.2bn ARA Asset Management deal
ESR Cayman has completed the acquisition of ARA Asset Management (ARA) and its subsidiary LOGOS for $5.2bn in a cash and stock transaction.
The deal creates one of the largest asset managers in Asia-Pacific (APAC) region and the third-largest listed real estate investment manager globally with nearly $140bn AUM.
For the stock component of the deal, ESR issued shares worth $4.7bn, the remaining $519m was paid in cash.
Benchmark Capital acquires Redbourne Wealth Management
Benchmark Capital, financial planning solutions provider and a part of the Schroders Group, has acquired the remaining stake in buying advice firm Redbourne Wealth Management.
The acquired entity will form part of Benchmark’s national advice business and will add £310m to the current £1.8bn in client assets.
Schroders spokesperson confirmed to International Adviser that it had acquired a 67% stake in 2018 and now it has acquired 33% stake.
After the transaction, the count of financial planners will also grow to 56 across eight offices in the UK.
Redbourne has offices in Stratford upon Avon, Shrewsbury, and Bromsgrove and offers Benchmark a presence in the West Midlands.
Succession Wealth acquires Pannells Financial Planning
Wealth management firm Succession Wealth has acquired Pannells Financial Planning that manages £1.4bn in client assets.
Set up in 1989 in the UK, Pannells has seven offices in England and Scotland. It offers a range of bespoke financial solutions for individuals and businesses.
Commenting on the deal, Succession Group CEO James Stevenson said: “We are hugely excited to partner with Pannells, a firm we have long admired for its values, success and strong commitment to independent advice. The cultural fit between us that is so present with Pannells is central to how we assess strategic acquisition opportunities.
“This has been a busy period of corporate activity, but our strategy remains focused jointly on continued organic growth and strategic acquisitions only where we believe they add value to both parties.”
Pannells provides advice on all aspects of financial requirements such as savings, investments, retirement planning for individuals.
With regard to businesses, it aids in securing the financial future of employees and the business through employee benefit schemes, auto-enrolment programmes, , and more.