Rowanmoor  

Embark reshuffle sees senior managers resign

Embark reshuffle sees senior managers resign

The managing director and head of self-invested personal pensions (Sipp) operations at Rowanmoor have handed in their resignation after the provider’s parent company Embark moved to consolidate its pensions management.

In a letter on leadership transition to staff this week, seen by FTAdviser, Embark stated it is carrying out a significant reshuffle and is moving to a single executive team which will manage all of its pension activities going forward.

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

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

Both resigned in November but will stay on until summer to help with the transition.

An Embark Group spokesperson said: “As Embark Group continues to grow, in particular in relation to the number of bespoke pensions, we are combining the leadership teams, operating tools and structures of our four pensions units. 

“We have appointed Paul Downing as chief executive to lead this combined unit, subject to regulatory approval.

“Rowanmoor remains an essential part of this unit and is a growing, profitable and robust enterprise, which continues to be invested in by the group.”

Mr King became managing director of Rowanmoor in September 2018.

He joined from Huntswood where he was chief operating officer and has previously held senior executive roles at Axa Wealth and Winterthur.

Mr Barlow became Sipp operations director in January 2019, joining from Standard Life Aberdeen where he was head of customer operations.

The executive shake-up follows Embark’s expansion in the platform space last year.

In November 2019, the company acquired Zurich’s platform which will see £33bn and 300,000 consumer clients move to Embark, following the completion of the deal.

This followed Embark’s deal to buy the advised book of Alliance Trust Savings from direct-to-consumer business Interactive Investor in October 2019.

The provider also confirmed John Fox’s appointment as managing director for Rowanmoor Ssas.

Mr Fox was previously managing director of Liberty Sipp and a director at Freedom Sipp.

In October 2018, Embark purchased the assets of troubled Liberty Sipp via its subsidiary business EBS Pensions.

This came after a group of investors initiated claims against Liberty over the way the Sipps were set up.

The claimants held the likes of Ethical Forestry, Sustainable AgroEnergy and Gravity Child Care in their Sipps, which had been introduced to them by unregulated firms.

amy.austin@ft.com, additional reporting by imogen.tew@ft.com

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