St James’s Place appoints Mark FitzPatrick as chief

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St James’s Place has appointed Mark FitzPatrick as chief government officer to switch Andrew Croft, simply because the UK’s largest wealth supervisor faces growing scrutiny over its charges.

FitzPatrick, a former senior government at UK insurer Prudential, will be part of SJP’s board in October and take over from Croft on December 1.

SJP mentioned on Wednesday that it had carried out an “intensive and sturdy” choice course of to discover a successor to Croft, an SJP veteran who has been chief government since 2018.

FitzPatrick will take the highest job because the UK monetary regulator’s new “shopper obligation” regime toughens scrutiny of the charges that wealth managers cost purchasers. SJP produces most of its earnings from annual prices.

“Mark has a well-established document in retail monetary companies and the board believes he’ll deliver experience and power to the function,” Paul Manduca, SJP chair, mentioned.

FitzPatrick, who was chief monetary officer at Prudential between 2017 and 2022 and briefly served as its interim chief government, was the main contender to switch Croft.

The appointment is a “optimistic” for the corporate, given his roles at Prudential, mentioned Nasib Ahmed, analyst at UBS.

“The brand new CEO will help enhance the working leverage of SJP by decreasing prices [and] bills additional.”

Because it was based in 1991 as J Rothschild Assurance, SJP has turn into a powerhouse with £158bn of funds underneath administration and a community of virtually 4,800 advisers providing wealth administration and tax planning.

SJP introduced in July that it could cut back a few of its charges in response to the Monetary Conduct Authority’s new regime, a transfer that hit the group’s share worth and raised fears over its enterprise mannequin.

Analysts at UBS estimate that the reduce by SJP will cut back the corporate’s earnings by 8 per cent subsequent yr.

SJP prices 4.5 per cent upfront for preliminary recommendation, in addition to 0.5 per cent yearly. Funding and product prices are extra whereas its exit charges begin at 1 per cent.

“By persevering with to do the precise factor for purchasers and adapting with agility to our fast-changing world, I’m assured that St James’s Place will probably be in a powerful place to create worth for all stakeholders within the years to come back,” FitzPatrick mentioned.

The wealth supervisor has additionally been fighting efficiency, with SJP’s figures exhibiting 41 per cent of UK purchasers’ belongings underneath administration have been in funds that delivered “inadequate worth” final yr.

Six of its funds, totalling £29bn, have been included in Bestinvest’s “Spot the Canine” report that identifies the worst-performing funds over a three-year interval.

Inflows into its funds dropped 38 per cent within the 12 months to the tip of June from a yr in the past. Croft has mentioned a tricky financial atmosphere “naturally” has an influence on purchasers’ capability to take a position.

Croft would keep at SJP into subsequent yr to assist with the transition, the wealth supervisor mentioned. SJP’s share worth was little modified in early buying and selling on Wednesday.

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