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Succession appoints new directors in executive reshuffle

James Stevenson is appointed Succession Group managing director

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Succession Group has announced a number of new management appointments in a reshuffle of senior staff.

James Stevenson has been appointed as its managing director and Sanjay Shah will become managing director of Succession Advisory Services.

Stevenson joined Succession in 2015 as group operating director. In September 2016 he assumed full commercial, operational and financial responsibility for the group.

Shah started working with Succession Advisory Services in 2010 and sold his advice firm to the group in 2014.

Succession also announced the appointment of Simon Charles as group HR director. Charles has previously worked for Flybe, Pepsico and PwC.

Other appointments include Hazel Hodge as Succession Advisory Services membership director, Helen Blackmore as HR head, and Karen King as group head of learning and development.

Mark Stokes, whose firm Lewis Chambers was acquired by Succession this year, has been appointed group proposition and marketing director.

Succession founder and former chief executive Simon Chamberlain passed away in March.

Succession executive chair Ray Pierce, who has headed the management team since Chamberlain’s passing, says: “These new appointments reflect the continued development of the Succession team and underline our commitment to creating the UK’s largest privately-owned wealth management businesses.”

He says: “They also reflect our refreshed commitment to be an employer of choice, attracting and developing the very best people, and creating a company culture that wholly invests in its people to redefine what is seen in the industry today.”

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Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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