Towry chief executive Andrew Fisher has stepped down with imm-ediate effect and has been replaced in the role by former Prudential UK chief executive Rob Devey.
Fisher leaves Towry after 10 years with the company, joining first as chairman in 2004 and then in 2006 becoming chief executive.
He retains his 20 per cent stake in the company. The firm has been eyeing a stockmarket listing for almost two years.
Fisher says: “Having led the growth of the company to a highly profitable national business which today employs 750 people, managing £5.5bn assets under management, I am confident the company is well positioned to continue its leadership of the sector. I am leaving Towry with a strong management team and in excellent financial and operational shape for further success in 2014 and beyond. I look forward to continuing my career in the wealth management sector.”
Devey’s appointment is subject to regulatory approval. He left his role as Pru UK chief executive in October, after former Standard Life chief fin-ancial officer Jackie Hunt joined the insurer to lead its UK and Europe div-ision. He received a total pay package worth almost £3.5m in 2013, with £2.5m paid through bonuses and the insurer’s long-term incentive plan.
When he left Devey took on a non-executive director role at Octopus Investments.
Devey says: “I am very excited to take over as chief executive of Towry. Towry is a great business and I look forward to leading its next phase of development. The company is well placed to further increase its scale while continuing to deliver an outstanding service to its clients.”
Towry recently appointed former Northern Rock boss Ron Sandler as executive chairman. Sandler, who also chaired Phoenix Group and Paternoster, replaces Gerald Corbett, who is leaving to head the board of directors at investment firm Numis next month.
Headline-grabber: Fisher’s big quotes…
“[The valuation] feels a bit light.”
In an interview with The Sunday Times in November 2010, as Towry instructed advisers to prepare the firm for a float. The report suggested Towry could be valued at £500m, valuing Fisher’s stake at £100m.
“In reality, the real cause for this dramatic shift in consumer behaviour has been brought about as a consequence of the commission-based sales structure of retail financial advice.”
Fisher blames commission for the onset of the financial crisis as he lobbies then Prime Minister Gordon Brown for a commission ban.
“Advisers liken themselves to doctors but they are actually closer to receptionists.”
Speaking in 2007 on advisers’ lack of training.
“It is a sad indictment of our industry that people have become so disillusioned with the advice they receive they have decided to prescribe their medicine themselves. The amateurisation of the industry has probably been going on for 250 years, and I think the FSA is doing a great job at the moment to start to reverse that trend.”
On “amateur” advisers and the growth of the execution-only market.
“We want to make sure consumers retire happy and meet their retirement needs. Not that they purchase another flat-screen TV and spend the last 10 years of their lives eating cat food off the floor.”
Fisher on the importance of giving clients what they need.
”None of our advisers take commission of any sort, nor does the firm.”
Fisher responds to an open letter penned by Nick Bamford in 2007. In 2009 it emerged the firm was receiving £6m a year in legacy trail payments.