InvestmentsMay 13 2013

Ashcourt to continue recruitment drive

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ByMatthew Jeynes

Ashcourt Rowan chief executive Jonathan Polin has said the company will continue its recruitment drive even though its headcount has already been boosted recently.

Mr Polin said he was looking to build up the firm’s discretionary fund management (DFM) proposition because it had a small presence in that space and that more hires may be needed to fully establish the firm in the area.

Since taking over as chief executive in September 2011, Mr Polin said he had rebuilt the centralised investment team for the discretionary service, but he was still looking to recruit more people to optimise the service.

“I am hugely heartened by the people we have been able to attract and we want to attract more people like them as we look to grow our financial planning and asset management businesses,” he said.

In recent months, Ashcourt Rowan has already brought in Gaius Jones from Towry as the chief executive of its financial planning division, strengthened its asset management division with former Brewin Dolphin senior investment director Harry Burnham and hired David Palmer from Generali as business director.

Ashcourt Rowan’s results for the year to March 31, released earlier this month, showed a revenue decline. But Mr Polin said he had warned investors this was likely to happen as he streamlined the business to just asset management and financial planning divisions.

He also said that the firm’s earnings had been ahead of market expectations for the year to March 31 at £2.8m having only been £500,000 in the first six months of the period.

The chief executive has pinned his hopes on the selling point of having a financial planning division as well as an asset management business.

He said he had moved to Ashcourt Rowan to take advantage of the opportunities brought about by the RDR, adding that the changes in the regulatory framework meant “you have to have financial planning and asset management in the same business together to deliver the best outcome for clients”.

Elsewhere, Mr Polin said providing both bespoke and model portfolios remained important in spite of the view by some providers that DFM businesses should focus on doing just one.

“You have to have both services to satisfy the requirements of advisers and there has been huge growth in both sectors before the RDR and at the start of this year,” he said.

Mr Polin said one of the distinguishing characteristics of Ashcourt Rowan was that it did not have the “baggage” that some of the more traditional wealth managers have to deal with.