EmbarkDec 2 2020

Job losses loom as Embark shakes up distribution teams

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Job losses loom as Embark shakes up distribution teams

Embark Group has reorganised its advisory distribution group by combining its pensions and platform teams, following the number of acquisitions it has recently made.

Embark said the move to combine the teams will help advisers “get the right support” in order to get the best outcomes for clients.

It comes after the firm acquired the Zurich investment and retail platform and the advised and partnership client books of Alliance Trust Savings earlier this year.

It is unknown if or how many redundancies the firm will make in this area but an inside source told FTAdviser at least 12 individuals have been sent redundancy letters.

Embark only confirmed that following the merger of multiple teams there may be a number of roles that are no longer needed.

An Embark spokesperson said: “Embark has grown significantly in the last 12 months following our Zurich and Alliance Trust acquisitions and it is part of the normal course of business that we align our resources accordingly.

"Ongoing performance management ensures we continue to have the best team to serve the needs of our clients, and following the merger of multiple teams there may inevitably be a small number of roles that no longer fit.

"However, this will have been more than offset by recruitment in other areas of the business as we continue to grow. Our process to reshape our distribution advisory team is ongoing, so we cannot comment further.”

The advisory distribution team exists to sell Embark’s services to adviser clients.

Under the leadership of Jamie Drewett who was appointed as group head of distribution in May 2020, Simon Hayter will oversee the national intermediated advised team and Craig Spittal will lead the key accounts team.

Rob Henderson will continue to lead the relationship team supporting Openwork.

Earlier this year (May 2020), Embark confirmed it will continue the former Zurich platform's distribution agreement with national advice network Openwork until 2021 and would look to extend the deal until 2026.

Embark’s distribution services and platform adoption team will be unchanged under the leadership of Michael Iles-Low.

Mr Drewitt said: “The Embark Group offers a powerful blend of technology, connectivity, expertise and people – and these latest changes will provide seamless access to the full services of the Embark Group and ensure advisers get the right support in order to deliver the best possible outcomes for their clients.

“We are looking to the future and the next phase of our growth strategy and are confident that our new team structure will enable us to best meet our client needs as we approach 2021.”

This is not the first time Embark has restructured parts of its business.

Earlier this year (February), it carried out a significant reshuffle and moved to a single executive team to manage all of its pension activities.

As a result, Embark appointed Paul Downing, who was managing director of Embark Services, as chief executive of pension activities including Rowanmoor Sipp, Rowanmoor Ssas, EBS Pensions and Hornbuckle.

But this shake-up caused the resignation of David King, managing director, and Wayne Barlow, Sipp operations director at Rowanmoor Executive Pensions.

FTAdviser also recently reported that a number of directors and senior managers at Embark had handed in their resignation in recent months.

At least four senior staff members left the company recently, which Embark said was “natural” as it continues to grow its business.


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