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Insider - August 2021

10 months ago

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This is the last Insider that I’ll be writing for you, because on 1 October I will be stepping down from my role as Managing Director of AJ Bell Investcentre, and putting things into the extremely capable hands of my friend and colleague, Billy Mackay.

The last 21 years have been a fantastic journey as the business has developed and expanded into its current position as a FTSE 250 company. It has been a privilege to work with Andy and so many other superbly talented people over the years and I have loved every minute of it. It has also been a privilege to work with and serve the fantastic adviser community we have developed over the years.

In the last 12 months, I have experienced two events which have caused me to reflect on the “where next” – hitting the big 60 and a nasty bout of COVID. This brought me to the conclusion that it’s time to take it a bit easier and leave some of the hard yards to the energetic and youthful team we have built.

Before you get too emotional(!), I should say that I am not leaving the business entirely. Instead, I’ll be turning my attention to an advisory role, overseeing the development of Touch by AJ Bell – our new app-based platform which will sit alongside and complement AJ Bell Investcentre.

Passing the baton to Billy

As mentioned above, I will be stepping back on 1 October, and handing over to a man whom many of you will already know well – Billy Mackay. Billy has been both a friend and a colleague over many years.

Billy has been our Marketing Director for 13 years now and has played a key part in helping us grow rapidly during that time. He’ll be taking on the MD role in addition to his current marketing responsibilities and has been tasked with driving forward the platform’s development roadmap, distribution and adviser service proposition.

This move is something we have been planning for some time now, and I’m certain that Billy will do a fantastic job. Here’s what the man himself had to say about his new role:

"I’m looking forward to leading the team in the next phase of this journey."

“It is a huge honour for me to be taking on the Managing Director role of AJ Bell Investcentre. I’ve been very fortunate to work closely with Fergus and Andy over the last 13 years. Everyone at AJ Bell Investcentre has worked tirelessly to create a platform that never stands still, driving growth with strong momentum in terms of users and asset flows. I’m looking forward to leading the team in the next phase of this journey.”

I’m sure you would all join me in congratulating Billy and wishing him the best of luck in his new role.

AJ Bell On the Road

I am very pleased to confirm that we are planning to take our seminars back out ‘On the Road’ in the autumn with our usual mix of research, technical and regulatory updates and investment opinion.

Join us as we tackle big questions about current market conditions, performance and contributing factors, and attempt to predict what might happen during the rest of this year and into 2022.

Other topics discussed will include the Government’s latest proposals and a look at one of the most topical questions you might be receiving from your clients – how will the cryptocurrency saga end?

We’ll be heading to eight locations across the UK between 4 and 7 October, as detailed below:

Location Date Time Secure your seat
Edinburgh Monday 4 October 2021 8.30am Register for Edinburgh
Glasgow Monday 4 October 2021 2pm Register for Glasgow
Manchester Tuesday 5 October 2021 8.30am Register for Manchester
Leeds Tuesday 5 October 2021 2pm Register for Leeds
Birmingham Wednesday 6 October 2021 8.30am Register for Birmingham
Bristol Wednesday 6 October 2021 2.30pm Register for Bristol
London Thursday 7 October 2021 8.30am Register for London

Refreshments will be served on arrival and you’ll also earn two hours of structured CPD time for your visit.

MPS – Reliance on Others

As you may have seen in the press, we are moving all our MPS solutions from an ‘Agent as Client’ (AAC) basis to a ‘Reliance on Others’ (ROO) basis.

As such, responsibility for managing the MPS solutions will now rest entirely with us – you will just be responsible for the decision to invest your client into a specific MPS solution, and for the ongoing suitability of the MPS itself. Everything else – i.e. monitoring the MPS and the underlying decisions – falls on us.

You don’t need to take any action, because we will handle the whole process of switching to ROO, and you won’t see any difference in the way we operate. There will be no additional costs either, and we won’t require any extra contact with your clients. You will also be pleased to hear that AJ Bell will not ask you to supply any information to us about your clients on an ongoing basis.

We have also updated our adviser terms for the MPS and RPS to reflect this change.

Please contact the Business Development Team to find out more.

Tatton added to our third-party DFM service

Our third-party DFM service gives you and your clients access to Managed Portfolio Services (MPS) from a range of external providers, and I am very pleased to let you know that we have now added Tatton to our panel of third-party Discretionary Fund Managers (DFMs) in direct response to demand from advisers.

Tatton entered the market eight years ago and is now one of the largest and most widely used DFMs available. It is adding 21 managed portfolios to the service, covering its Managed (active funds), Tracker (passive funds), Core (active/passive funds) and Ethical ranges. Each range offers a choice of risk levels and has an annual management charge of 0.15%. This gives you a broad selection of investment options to suit a diverse variety of client profiles.

The third-party MPS is available via AJ Bell Investcentre’s Retirement Investment Account, SIPP, ISA and General Investment Account. There is no explicit fee for the service itself – your clients simply pay the existing platform charge and the charge levied by the external DFM.

The value of investments can go down as well as up and your client may get back less than originally invested.

AJ Bell Connect

Our next AJ Bell Connect event for paraplanners is set for 9 September. Attendees at this relaxed but very informative event can expect to hear from our Head of Investment Research, Ryan Hughes, who will provide an update on recent key events in the investment world, and explain how our AJ Bell Fundamentals service can support them with their investment research.

Charlene Young, our Senior Technical Consultant, will look at retirement planning opportunities for clients who could save using both a pension and a Lifetime ISA, before handing over to Business Development Manager Matthew Jonas for an update on all our latest platform developments.

Paraplanners can register to attend now.

AJ Bell FIT Awards

The AJ Bell Fund and Investment Trust Awards are your chance to vote for the best active and passive funds in 15 award categories.

Our expert panel of investment professionals has already narrowed down the choice from the many thousands of investment funds and trusts available, selecting their preferred nominations in each of the 15 award categories. In each category, we will have a winning actively-managed and passive fund.

We now need you to cast your votes to help decide who the eventual winners are! If you do, you’ll be in with a chance of winning a £300 restaurant voucher for London’s Pollen Street Social (T&Cs apply).

Profile Picture
Fergus Lyons

Fergus Lyons

Job Title
Managing Director

Fergus worked at a major bank for over 20 years before joining AJ Bell in August 2000. Since then he has worked in many areas of the business, and is currently Managing Director of AJ Bell Investcentre. Fergus is also responsible for AJ Bell Investments and our Platinum SSAS/SIPP products.

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