Smith & Williamson to overhaul technology before float

Smith & Williamson to overhaul technology before float

Smith & Williamson co-chief executive Kevin Stopps has said he is confident the wealth manager will be able to upgrade their technology ahead of its listing on the stock market next year.

Mr Stopps said he is “very mindful” of the errors made by firms such as Aegon and Aviva whose businesses attempted technology upgrades.

He said the reason for the technology change is to make the company better prepared for its IPO, which is expected to happen in the latter half of 2019.

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Mr Stopps said: “The financial resources are certainly there for us to do the technology upgrade properly. The key is going to be getting everyone in the organisation to buy into what we are doing, that is my job frankly, and that is what will matter. We will do everything we can to mitigate the risk.”

The firm said the work to upgrade their technology is a “major investment” for the business and won’t be completed until the second half of 2019.

The decision to float Smith & Williamson on the stock exchange comes following the company having previously been in negotiations with wealth manager Rathbones about a possible merger.

Mr Stopps said other work is being done to prepare the company for a stock market listing, this includes, he said, potentially making a “medium sized acquisition”, which he said they could likely afford to carry out from the cash currently on the balance sheet.  

In its latest set of results, Smith and Williamson revealed it had funds under administration of £11.7bn at the end of April 2018.  

Smith and Williamson has confirmed it has selected Avaloq to carry out some of the work for its technological upgrade. Avaloq also works with financial services firms Coutts and Canaccord Genuity as a technology provider.