The finance industry briefing

The latest news, views and numbers you need to know this month

News in Numbers


JPMorgan Chase is reportedly planning to hire over 500 financial advisers in the next five to seven years as part of its strategy to strengthen wealth management services.

The move would double the number of brokers at JP Morgan Advisors’, boutique wealth management arm of the bank.

The firm currently employees 450 brokers, Reuters reported.

JP Morgan Advisors CEO Phil Sieg told the news agency: “We are investing in this business. We want to grow to 1,000 advisers relatively quickly.”

Part of the bank’s US wealth management division, JP Morgan Advisors comprises Chase’s investing platform and its around 4,000 financial advisers who work at bank branches.

As of June, JP Morgan’s wealth management division oversaw $673bn in client assets.


Wealth management platform Simon Markets, which spun out of Goldman Sachs in 2018, has closed the first tranche of a strategic financing round of up to $100m.

The Series B round is led by WestCap with participation from existing investors.

Simon enables financial professionals to explore alternative investment solutions and address historical impediments via its platform.

The fresh infusion of capital will be used by the firm to further enhance its core offering across structured investments and annuities.

It will also be used to fund growth initiatives focused on product and geographic expansion.


Mariner Wealth has brokered a deal to buy AdvicePeriod, which oversees $5.1bn in assets under management (AUM), for an unknown sum.

Founded in 2014 by industry veteran Steve Lockshin, the acquired entity offers family office services and tax planning for high-net-worth individuals.

The firm has been acquiring advisor teams for its roster in the last few year, providing them with support on branding, compliance, marketing, and tech fronts.

The deal, which is expected to build a dominant fiduciary advisory firm, is concurrent to an investment from private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners (LGP).

It would help the combined firm to develop of financial services technology and expand its services to clients and advisors of all types.

Under the deal, AdvicePeriod will continue to operate under its current brand.


Titan has raised $58m in its Series B fundraising to accelerate the development of its investment platform and suite of investment products, alongside expanding its core functional teams.

The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and joined by the company’s existing investors including General Catalyst, BoxGroup, and Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures.

To the date, the firm has raised $75m.


American investment giant Goldman Sachs is planning to hire more than employees in India by 2023 as it looks to bolster its operations globally.

The news comes as the company opens its new office in Hyderabad as part of its effort to bolster its global centre for engineering and business innovation in the country.

Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO David Solomon said that the new office will serve as a crucial innovation hub for a range of the company’s businesses and enhance its reputation as a global firm.

People moves

Credit Suisse hires new asset management head from UBS

Credit Suisse has named UBS’ David Kruck as chief of staff at its asset management unit, effective from 1 August 2021.

Kruck will report to newly appointed head of the Swiss bank’s asset management division, Ulrich Körner.

Körner, who also joined the firm from UBS in April, was hired as part of the bank’s revamp of its asset management business following the implosion of around $10bn of funds linked to short-term debt fund Greensill Capital.

At UBS, Kruck served as chief of staff for the president of the Asset Management business. He was also a group executive board sponsor for sustainability and impact.

Brooks Macdonald names investment director within AIM portfolio service

Brooks Macdonald has named Ling Au-Yeung as investment director within its AIM portfolio service.
Au-Yeung will report to head of the AIM portfolio service, Ewan Millar.

She will be responsible for AIM equity research, portfolio construction in addition to developing the fund house’s relationships with clients and advisers.

Au-Yeung previously worked at Rathbones, where she spent three years as a smaller companies and AIM analyst.

Prior to that, she worked at Adam & Company, most recently as associate director of investments.

BNY Mellon appoints chief growth officer

BNY Mellon has appointed Akash Shah to the newly created role of chief growth officer, effective immediately.

Shah, who was previously senior executive vice president and head of strategy and global client management at the firm, will continue to report to the group’s CEO Todd Gibbons.

In this new role, he will oversee strategy, marketing, and communications as well as global client management.

Gibbons said: “Akash has been a driving force of change since joining the firm three years ago. He has been instrumental as a member of the Executive Committee, in helping to shape our firm-wide strategy, as well as client service and growth agendas.

“In his new role, he will continue to drive momentum across our business, and be a force multiplier in BNY Mellon’s ability to seize the growth opportunities in the marketplace, while continuing to deliver innovative solutions to our clients.”

Shah joined BNY Mellon in 2018 as head of strategy.

JP Morgan poaches vice chair of EMEA investment banking from UBS

JP Morgan has reportedly hired UBS executive Reinout Boettcher as vice chair of EMEA investment banking in Zurich.

Boettcher will report to JP Morgan EMEA Investment Banking co-heads Dorothee Blessing and Conor Hillery, Reuters reported citing a staff memo.

He will work with the company’s Switzerland senior country officer Nick Bossart.

Boettcher was most recently head of global banking for UBS in Switzerland, responsible for Swiss corporate clients, project origination and execution.

Prior to that, he worked in corporate finance with a focus on M&A advisory at Dresdner Bank in Frankfurt.

HSBC gains chief investment officer for Europe and MENA

HSBC has appointed Georgios Leontaris as chief investment officer (CIO), Europe International and MENA, HSBC Private Banking and Wealth Management.

Based in Geneva, Leontaris will report to Willem Sels, global CIO, HSBC Private Banking and Wealth Solutions, Europe International and MENA.

Leontaris will help develop the house view, asset allocation, thematic ideas and thought leadership pieces. Furthermore, he will work closely with client-facing teams and be in frequent contact with private banking and wealth clients across Europe and MENA.

He is currently the head of fixed income advisory in the Swiss private bank, where he developed insight into rate, credit, emerging markets and currency dynamics. He has been at HSBC for 14 years, holding roles across fixed income and investment advisory.


Goldman Sachs, DWS preparing bid for NN Investment Partners

Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) and Germany’s DWS are reportedly looking to bid for NN Investment Partners (NN IP), the asset management arm of Dutch insurer NN Group.

The unit, which manages €300bn in assets, was put up for sale by the insurer in April this year, following a strategic review of the business.

With deadline for final binding offers set to end early this week, GSAM and DWS are preparing the bids for NN IP, Financial Times reported citing people familiar with the development.

According to a source, the deal price is in the region of €1.4bn.

NN Group, GSAM and DWS did not comment on the news.

Other interested parties for the unit includes UBS, Prudential Financial, Janus Henderson and American asset manager Nuveen.

Frankfurt-based DWS is accelerating its consolidation activities to challenge the supremacy of its rival firm Amundi in Europe.

DWS chief executive Asoka Woehrmann told shareholders at the group’s annual meeting last month that it is seeking to be ‘an active player’ in industry consolidation.

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.”

New York Private Bank & Trust invests in Gerber Taylor

New York Private Bank & Trust (NYPB&T) has made a minority investment in multi-asset class investment management and advisory firm Gerber | Taylor Capital Advisors.

The deal, whose financial details are unknown, was carried out through Emigrant Partners, a subsidiary of NYPB&T.

Founded in 1990, Gerber Taylor specialises in investment management and investment advisory services.

The firm has approximately $6.3bn in assets under management and $7.5bn in assets under advisement.

The investment will be used to support succession planning among the partners of Gerber Taylor.

Wren Sterling secures majority investment from Lightyear Capital

British advisory firm Wren Sterling has secured a majority investment from investment funds affiliated with Lightyear Capital.

Size and other terms of the deal have not been made public.

The investment will support the firm to complete a management buyout from Palatine Private Equity and shareholders, subject to FCA approval.

New York-based Lightyear is a financial services private equity firm with focus on asset and wealth management.

The deal will have no effect on Wren Sterling’s management team and staff.
Wren Sterling executive chairman Ian Darby said: “We have secured a fantastic deal for Wren Sterling’s clients, shareholders and staff. It will provide a return for our investors, enable us to grow our business and continue to invest in our client service.

“Lightyear will bring years of expertise in growing financial advice businesses, plus the capital we require to help us grow Wren Sterling, so they’re an ideal partner for us.

“Palatine has been a hugely supportive owner over the last six years. Through the management team’s hard work and Palatine’s guidance, we’ve created a dynamic business that is helping many people across the UK to make the right financial decisions.”

State Street Corporation to acquire Mercatus, Inc.

State Street Corporation announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Mercatus, Inc., a data management provider for private market managers. The transaction is expected to be completed in September. Financial terms are not being disclosed.

State Street Corporation recently reported a 10% rise in profits in the second quarter of 2021. To coincide with the acquisition, the company will also launch its State Street AlphaSM for Private Markets solution which will allow institutional investors to manage the entire lifecycle of their investments through a single platform. This will also include the ability to provide whole portfolio exposure to managers investing in public and private markets.

“Investors in private markets have historically struggled with inefficient and manual processes because existing solutions are too fragmented and rigid to meet their changing investment requirements,” said Spiros Giannaros, president and chief executive officer of Charles River Development, a State Street Company. “Mercatus’s focus and solution for private markets augments Charles River’s market leading platform for public markets, enabling us to support clients across the full spectrum of their investment needs.”

Stonehage Fleming acquires Maitland private client service business

Multi-family office Stonehage Fleming has taken over the private client services business of Maitland, a privately owned global advisory, administration, and family office firm.

Subject to regulatory approval, the Maitland business will transfer to Stonehage Fleming, bringing legal fiduciary, corporate and investment management services capability in nine locations worldwide.

Furthermore, the transaction adds £1bn ($1.37bn) of AuM and £15bn of AuA, taking Stonehage Fleming’s AuM to over £16bn and AuA to over £60bn.

The private client services business will bring further scale to Stonehage Fleming, strengthen key service areas and broaden the range of jurisdictions offered to clients. It will also operate under the Stonehage Fleming brand.