The executive management team of financial planning firm GWM has resigned after Suzerain Investment Holdings became a controlling shareholder of the firm.
The transaction is a two-part deal, with a conversion of debt to equity and the sale of shares by the existing shareholders.
As a result, co-chief executives John Hasberry and David Howell, along with managing director Gavin Pluck, have left the group.
It sees Suzerain hold over 90% of the business.
Financial details were not disclosed and the deal is expected to complete at the end of April 2020 – subject to final regulatory approval.
Who acquired the firm?
Suzerain is a private equity vehicle managed by global wealth management business Skybound Capital, which entered into a business relationship with GWM in 2015.
According to the press release, the initial growth funding facility it provided helped to almost triple the assets under management at GWM.
Holding over 90% of the firm means that Suzerain is able to restructure GWM Group and “put in place all necessary systems and procedures to ensure the business is operating at optimal levels”.
What are its plans?
Skybound will take effective management control of GWM and has set up an executive committee to run the group.
From a management perspective, Skybound stated that “immediate attention and importance will be placed on reviewing and strengthening compliance, corporate governance, financial reporting, the client offering and employee satisfaction”.
It aims to place more emphasis on regional profitability.
Initial efforts to develop the business will concentrate on existing regions; including the Middle East, Europe and the US.
Canada, Australia and South Africa will “follow in the medium term”.
It will have a recurring, fee-based model rather than a traditional commission platform, it added.
According to its website, Skybound is licensed and regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (Asic), the Hong Kong Securities and Futures C0mmission (SFC), the Mauritius Financial Services Commission (FSC) and the South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).