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Brewin Dolphin Closes Another Office

Stephen Little, Reporter, London, 29 August 2014

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UK-listed wealth management group Brewin Dolphin is closing its office in York as it continues to consolidate its branch network. The move comes after the recently announced a string of high profile senior departures and moves within the company, including the appointment of a new chief operating officer.

UK-listed wealth management group Brewin Dolphin is closing its office in York as it continues to consolidate its branch network. The move comes after a string of high profile senior departures and moves within the company, including the appointment of a new chief operating officer.

Following a review of client accounts, the York branch will now merge into the Leeds office and will be managed by Michael Craven, head of the Leeds branch, Brewin Dolphin said in a statement.

Brewin said that as a result of the merger, assistant director Alison Pickup has been placed on gardening leave and had been invited to apply for other roles in the company.

Three administration assistants have been made redundant, while directors Paul Widdicombe, Craig Richardson Charles Thompson have transferred to Leeds.

The merged office will have £1.5 billion ($2.49 billion) in client assets and will be managed by 45 investment and financial planners.

Brewin said that it will also relocate its current Leeds office to new premises at 10 Wellington Place in the autumn.

“While we recognise this is a sad day for York, we are continually reviewing how we conduct business to ensure our clients receive the best possible service.  I am confident that all our clients will be very well served from our new enlarged Leeds office and that we will continue to grow our important and highly valued business in Yorkshire from our new state of the art building,” said Stephen Ford, director and head of investment management.

Brewin also recently closed down its offices in Chester and Truro, which will now merge into the Manchester and Plymouth offices.

Departures

Earlier this month, Brewin Dolphin announced a number of high-profile changes to its senior management structure.

IT chief Gareth Williams is leaving after 12 years with the company, along with director of marketing, Philip Browne, who has been with the firm for eight years.

Meanwhile, Thomas Lack has been appointed chief operating officer from Coutts, where he was head of wealth operations. He will report to chief executive David Nicol and will join the group’s executive committee.

Rob Burgeman and Peter Long have also stepped down from their joint head of London roles to concentrate fully on their clients and their teams of investment managers after joining in May last year. They will remain members of the London Executive Committee.  

Stephen Jones, formerly head of Brewin Dolphin Birmingham and latterly head of the Midlands region, has been appointed senior regional director and a member of the group executive committee, reporting directly to Stephen Ford, head of investment management and director of Brewin Dolphin Holdings.

In May, Brewin decided to terminate the roll out of its new technology system, Figaro, across its discretionary wealth business, after hitting snags in its execution-only arm. It said that it will take a pre-tax impairment cost of around £32 million in the second half of 2014 as a result of this decision, based on the consequent reassessment of the value in use of the software asset under development.

Last month, Brewin Dolphin reported a slight fall in total income of £73.1 million ($124.7 million) in the three months to 29 June this year from £73.3 million in the same quarterly period a year ago. The London-listed investment and wealth management firm said commissions fell 12 per cent year-on-year to £20.9 million, but fees rose 15 per cent to £46.1 million.

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