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EXCLUSIVE: Rowan Dartington makes two new senior appointments
09/04/2018 , Polina Hoare

UK wealth manager Rowan Dartington has made two new senior appointments, Graham Coxell, executive chairman, told thewealthnet.

Steve Jones has been promoted to the position of managing director of distribution, and appointed as a member of the board, subject to regulatory approval.

Glenn Cockerill has joined the company as finance director, and has also been appointed as a member of the board, subject to regulatory approval. He has fifteen years of experience in financial services, and was previously director of strategic finance at TSB.

Mr Jones previously held the title of regional director for the south, having joined Rowan Dartington from Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM) in July 2015. During his time at LGIM, Mr Jones had a number of senior positions in UK distribution. In his new role, Mr Jones is responsible for the management of Rowan Dartington’s regulated distribution channels.

Rowan Dartington has had a “fantastic couple of years”, Mr Coxell said, and the new appointments “will play an important role in the ambitious growth plans we have for the future”. 

St. James’s Place acquired Rowan Dartington in 2016, and Mr Coxell noted that the partnership is proving to be a great success. Rowan Dartington recently reached a £2 billion milestone, and new business levels are up 100 percent compared to last year, with Mr Coxell confident that they could go up another 100 percent this year.  It has also been one of the best years for private clients business lines, and for new business from IFAs.

“We can probably grow as much this year, as we have in the previous 24 years. St. James’s Place is a great new home. It’s an admired business, which I wish was more fairly represented in the press, and, most importantly, it has grown organically.”

Mr Coxell stressed it was crucial that St. James’s Place created a personality, an integrated family. “These are not businesses just plugged in haphazardly. Rowan Dartington was the first capability acquisition; it was semi-organic. It was easy for us to intertwine ourselves into the core proposition. St. James’s Place allowed and encouraged us to retain our identity, branding and values.”

Looking ahead, Mr Coxell predicts both organic and non-organic growth for Rowan Dartington. For the latter, it would have to be a cultural and propositional fit, “a true synergy rather than just cost synergy”.

Mr Coxell sees excellent opportunities in the market, such as exploring how to support non-resident UK ultra high net worth individuals, expansion into Asia (St. James’s Place has a presence in China, Hong Kong and Singapore), as well as supporting English-speaking advisers overseas.

In sync with other players in the industry, Mr Coxell acknowledges the increasing regulatory burden on firms. “We have moved to a rules based approach, and we are guilty unless proven innocent. We have to evidence we did it right. I think MiFID II could start being the tipping point for autonomous owned-managed wealth managers in the market. There is not yet a clear consolidation trend in smaller players, but it is an interesting development to observe.”

Rowan Dartington has expanded from having a regional to having a national and international footprint, and Mr Coxell is excited and optimistic about the firm’s future.

Established in 1990, Rowan Dartington is responsible for client assets in excess of £2 billion. The Rowan Dartington private client business specialises in financial planning and discretionary investment management as well as providing stockbroking services.

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