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ATS staff departures continue as platform commits to improved adviser experience

Business-People-Silhouette-Leaving-Walking-700x450.jpgPlatform Alliance Trust Savings continues to be affected by staff departures as three senior executives are understood to have left the business.

Money Marketing understands commercial director Ed Carey and customer services director Gordon Murray have recently resigned from their posts.

According to LinkedIn, Carey joined ATS in 2016 as sales director before taking on the commercial director role last year.

Murray’s appointment at ATS was announced by the business in January. He was previously Nucleus’s asset services director and investment operations head at platform technology provider FNZ.

Former ATS strategic partnerships head Rob McDonnell has also left the business and Vitality has confirmed he has joined the protection provider as a franchise director.

Money Marketing can also confirm that Allison Fower, who was ATS chief operating officer from January to September last year, has now joined FNZ.

Fower joined FNZ as client director last December.

ATS confirmed this month it had reduced the number of “field-based” IFA sales and customer service staff. However, it said it had increased the number of staff in its “central team”.

An ATS spokesman says: “Our new operating model, aligning sales and service better, moves us to a similar model as many of our peer group and is something that advisers have told us they want. Alliance Trust Savings is very committed to providing good customer service and value for money.”

Simplification plans

In accounts filed to Companies House this month ATS says a “platform simplification programme” will start this year.

ATS currently operates its main adviser platform on GBST technology, its direct-to-consumer platform on Active Bank technology and its Stocktrade platform on Figaro technology.

The company has confirmed the plans do not involve “platform reduction” in 2018.

The spokesman says: “For ATS, platform simplification means focusing on those areas of the core platform that will result in improved customer experience and more efficient processes, which are core objectives for ATS in 2018.”

He adds: “The work underway at present is focused on those goals and does not mean platform reduction in 2018. ATS plans to continue working closely with all its key technology suppliers in achieving those goals this year and beyond.”

In March, it was revealed that ATS made a £19m loss in 2017 and parent Alliance Trust was reducing the value of its investment in the business as well as reducing the value of the intangible assets related to Stocktrade, which resulted in a £13.2m exceptional charge.

Stocktrade was moved from Edinburgh to Dundee in the first half of last year and Alliance Trust admitted that moving the service led to bad customer service and an increase in complaints from customers. It incurred costs in the second half of 2017 addressing those issues.

ATS is continuing its search for a new chief executive after Patrick Mill left the business towards the end of last year.

ATS chair Ron Baxter remains acting chief executive in the interim.

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  1. When I saw the headline I thought “doesn’t bother me because I get my car shod by Black Circles”.

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