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STEVE GLYNN

In the post-Duffield era, new Jupiter joint managing director Steve Glynn is throwing open the curtains to reveala new friendlier and transparent corporation.

After a rocky few months, Jupiter is now in the process of changing its style after the departure of former chief executive John Duffield and is aiming to restore IFA confidence in the brand. In his 15 years at the top, Duffield ran a tight shop, keeping the press at a distance and his strategy secret.

As part of the restructure, IFA support services are being expanded, with several high-profile appointments. The recruitment of new sales director Parran Verana, along with several other appointments to the same department, will take the sales team to 31. When Glynn first joined the team in 1997, there were just seven people.

Since his arrival at Jupiter in 1996, Glynn has seen the company transformed from a small institutionally focused investment house, into a top five player in the retail sector. Over his four years, funds under management in the firm&#39s unit trust division has gone from less than £0.5bn to £5.6bn.

This is by no means the only transformation Glynn has undergone. When he won a tennis scholarship to Millfield School at the age of 14, it seemed only a matter of time before he would be heading for stardom on the ATP tour. As an all-round sportsman, he was forced to choose between rugby or tennis and, with his scholarship in hand, he ditched his dreams of Twickenham in favour of Wimb- ledon and Roland Garros.

But a shoulder injury at 18 dashed those hopes and set him in a course into financial services. Now 39-year-old Glynn has realised another dream in his new job as joint managing director of Jupiter.

The key to the transformation of the company is the IFA, says Glynn. He sees advisers as paramount to the success of Jupiter and he has a firm vision of the reputation he wants to build for the brand. He stresses that Jupiter is not set on becoming the biggest fund manager in the UK but is striving to be considered as a specialist investment house that is known for strong fund manager performance.

He says: “Over the course of the past 15 years, we have had so many commentators suggest that the death of the IFA is nearby. But although we have seen a change in the marketplace, the fact is that the intermediary is still one of the best placed to capitalise on the future of the financial services.

“On the back of that, we have continued to build up our resources significantly on the intermediary side of our business to ensure that we can continue to deliver superior products in a superior way to that market.”

As an ex-IFA himself, Glynn feels he has an advantage over many of his competitors. He is quick to att- ribute his rise to success through Scottish Provident and then Eagle Star Life to his early days as a broker.

“What I have been able to achieve at both Eagle Star and Jupiter has been enormously helped by virtue of having been an IFA myself and understanding their needs, their challenges and their problems.”

As a strong supporter of polarisation, he thinks changes to the current legislation could be catastrophic for the industry. He shares the view with many IFAs that although intermediaries have been around in their current form for several years, it is only now that people are starting to get to terms with the concept of real independence.

“Doing away with polarisation would muddy the waters and confuse the investing public. To change that now would be very bad for the industry and I do not think it will help the industry to grow.”

As part of its expansion, Jupiter is launching into the pension market with a new self-invested pension product later this year.

Glynn believes pensions are set to be the biggest growth area in UK investment in the coming years and Jupiter is keen to make itself a key player in the individual pension account market.

However, he says Jupiter will take a spectator role in the initial developments of the stakeholder market although he admits it is another possible avenue for the company to look at in the future.

Glynn says he is driven by change and variation, a characteristic that has servedhim well at the rapidly changing Jupiter.

Although he still enjoys a game of tennis, he passes his spare hours taking care of his two children and feasting on his self-professed obsession with fast cars and fruity wines. Recently, his wife bought him a part share in a French vineyard in the Macon region so he can now also proudly call himself a maker of wine as opposed to just a drinker.

One question, however, remained to be asked. Does he ever look back at his tennis days with a thought of what might have been? The answer is a resounding no.

“My attitude is never look back. There is no point in worrying about what might have been. I love my job, and I put everything into it. I am a great believer in doing something very well or not at all.”

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