Bestinvest founder John Spiers has returned to wealth management by acquiring the financial planning arm of Truestone Asset Management for an undisclosed sum.
Spiers founded Bestinvest in 1986, taking it to more than 50,000 clients and assets in excess of £3bn. He initially stepped back from the business in January 2007 before resuming the chief executive role in October 2008. He stepped down from the helm of Bestinvest for a second time in March 2010, when Peter Hall became chief executive.
The Truestone wealth management business, which has been rebranded to EQ Investors, is responsible for £500m in client assets and has 45 staff.
Truestone founder Paul Szkiler is to focus on Truestone Impact Investment Management, which offers socially responsible investment funds in frontier markets.
Spiers, who takes on the role of chief executive of EQ Investors, is joined in the new venture by former Bestinvest financial director Paul Trueman.
EQ Investors also plans to launch a separate “low cost” telephone and online based service called EQ Direct to deal with investors who do not require face-to-face advice.
The service, which EQ aims to launch early next year, will be available for lump sums of at least £15,000 and regular savings from £1,000 a month.
EQ will also offer investors an ethical investment range as part of its existing Positive Impact Portfolio, which has raised over £20m.
Spiers says: “I have a very clear vision of the kind of wealth advice company desperately needed by an increasing number of people.
“EQ now has a strong foundation, which we can build into a genuine alternative in the wealth advice arena with a different philosophy and approach. We will help to fill that gap by making advice more accessible, focusing on maximising returns over the long term and offering value-for-money products driven by an efficient use of technology.”