Financial injection for Guardian’s Welsh HQ
The Welsh government has invested £850,000 in global IFA Guardian Wealth Management’s new headquarters to bolster the advisory industry in South Wales, David Howell has said.
The chief executive said the firm’s new £1.5m head office in Llantrisant, Mid Glamorgan, could create up to 100 jobs and will house Guardian Wealth’s UK financial planning and training centre.
Guardian Wealth has recruited Marlene Shalton, current president of the Institute of Financial Planning, as UK managing director of its financial planning practice. She will begin work at the new headquarters in September.
Mr Howell said: “The company is focusing on increasing its presence in the UK, partly driven by the implementation later this year of the retail distribution review.
“It will have a profound and dramatic effect on the way financial services are delivered in the UK and will undoubtedly create favourable market conditions for financial planning firms that are committed to investing in people and technology.
“Our company intends to be the vanguard of this new dawn, providing strong innovation, thought leadership and a proposition that is second to none.”
The financial injection came from the Welsh government’s economic growth fund.
Edwina Hart, the Welsh government’s minister for business, enterprise, technology and science, said: “I’d like to welcome Guardian to Wales. We are home to a dynamic and fast-growing financial and professional services sector and it is great news that it has chosen Wales over all other possible locations for its new headquarters.
“Attracting head-office functions to Wales is a priority for us and I am pleased the Welsh government is supporting the investment through the economic growth fund, which is helping to create jobs, growth and wealth.
“Guardian will be creating a significant number of highly-skilled, well-paid jobs and is a welcome addition to one of our key sectors.”
Guardian anticipates it will create around 60 jobs in 2012 at the new base, which is approximately 10 miles from Cardiff. Employee numbers are expected to exceed 100 by 2015.
Mr Howell said the company was keen to address the growing financial planning requirements of the large Islamic community in South Wales, which he felt had not been effectively delivered by other organisations in the past.
He added: “Wales provides excellent training in this field and, coupled with the talent pool from higher education, made it an excellent choice as a business location.
“We appreciate the support from the Welsh government, which is proactive in helping businesses create, develop and nurture long-term sustainable jobs in Wales.”