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New Hornbuckle chief sets out non-standard Sipps focus

Hornbuckle 700
Left to right: Hornbuckle chief executive Phil Smith and senior executive David White

Hornbuckle Mitchell plans to focus its proposition on non-standard Sipp investments and could open a sales office in London after two private investors bought a 60 per cent stake in the pension administrator.

Earlier this month, Hornbuckle confirmed it has sold a 60 per cent stake in the business to two private investors, Phil Smith and Richard Wohanka.

Former managing director David White retained a 40 per cent stake and took up the role of senior executive. Smith is now chief executive while Wohanka is non-executive chairman.

Smith told Money Marketing: “For all Sipp providers, including Hornbuckle, there is still a wall of new business coming through.

“The market is still immature in the sense that it has not reached its full potential of critical mass.

“We are well placed to grow organically, particularly in the non-traditional space. The regulator’s focus on increasing regulatory capital, which I am hugely supportive of, will inevitably mean there are fewer Sipp providers who are interested in non-traditional assets.

“That is where our expertise lies and we see huge opportunities down that path.”

Smith also says the structure of Hornbuckle has been reviewed and they could look to open a new office in London. Hornbuckle currently has offices in Leicester, Edinburgh and Cheshire.

Smith says: “Before we came on the scene a considerable amount of investment was made in technology and efficiency benefits are now starting to flow from those investments.

“We are not planning to cut the headcount but we will need to make some sensible changes to the shape of the business to do the things in the market that we want to do.

“That largely comes down to our geographic footprint rather than the headcount. At the moment we do not have a physical footprint in the South East or London and we want to move to a model where we have our trust consultants and market facing people in the parts of the country where our clients are.”

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