EmbarkOct 26 2020

Embark sees wave of resignations

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Embark sees wave of resignations

A number of directors and senior managers at Embark Group have handed in their resignation in the past couple of months, FTAdviser has learnt.

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

Mark Randell, regional sales director, had joined Rowanmoor in 2008 as a pension specialist. According to Embark, Mr Randell has “a wealth of knowledge, practical experience and technical expertise in member-directed pensions”.

He has 30 years of experience in the financial services industry and has held a variety of senior roles supporting intermediaries for some of the UK’s largest life companies. 

In addition, Lawrence Churchill has stepped down as a member of the company's board of directors.

According to Companies House, Mr Randell resigned at the end of July 2020 after being appointed a director in November 2019.

Mr Lawrence is now chairman of consolidator Clara Pensions’ corporate board, alongside the Pensions Policy Institute and the Independent Governance Committee for Prudential.

From April 2012 to March 2018, Mr Churchill was chairman of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, as well as the government-backed National Employers Savings Trust (Nest) from 2010 to 2015.

Chief operating officer of EBS Pensions, Julie Dean, has also left the company.

Ms Dean joined EBS Pensions after Embark Group purchased all the trading assets of Liberty Sipp via its subsidiary in October 2018.

This combined business was then led by Liberty directors Ms Dean and John Fox, who is now managing director for Rowanmoor Ssas.

Ms Dean was finance and operations director at Liberty Sipp from July 2017, after joining the firm in 2010.

She is now chief financial officer at property development and investment group Granite Turner.

FTAdviser also understands that Emma Vernon, chief risk officer of pensions at Embark, has left the company after joining in February 2019.

Phil Smith, chief executive officer at Embark Group, said: “We are very happy with where we are at as a business. Embark has doubled in size in the last 12 months and we’ve evolved the shape of the organisation – people moves are natural for any business as it grows in scale and adapts to new requirements. 

“Moreover, we’ve made a number of significant hires over the past six months and the team is the strongest that it has ever been.”

New starters

Meanwhile Embark has appointed Chris Spencer as managing director of its pensions division.

According to the firm, Mr Spencer is an “experienced platform specialist” having previously held the managing director position at IFDS financial services, where he worked for 14 years across various senior roles.

He has also held roles at Fidelity, Govett Investments and Barclays Stockbrokers.

Most recently he was managing director at Fund Partners.

Mr Smith said: “We’re really pleased that Chris has joined our pensions team, he is an exceptionally experienced platform specialist and will help maintain our position at the forefront of the market.”

Last month, the firm also hired Nicola Megaw to its executive team to head up its investor relations activities and assume the role of group general counsel.

She joined from Nucleus Financial Group where she held a similar executive role as chief legal officer and company secretary. 

She was also a director of its pension trustee company.

Earlier this year (February), Embark carried out a significant reshuffle of its business 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.


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