People Moves: RBS, FCA, Canada Life, AJ Bell, Earthworm and Just Group

People Moves: RBS, FCA, Canada Life, AJ Bell, Earthworm and Just Group

Royal Bank of Scotland
has named Alison Rose as its new chief executive in a landmark move that makes her the first woman to lead one of the UK's big four banks. Rose, who joined the bank 27 years ago as a graduate trainee, will replace the incumbent Ross McEwan in November. RBS said in a statement that she will be paid more than her predecessor, with her annual salary set at £1.1m compared versus McEwan's £1m.

Rose is currently the chief executive of the commercial and private banking division. Other UK lenders have been led by women with Ana Botin was formerly in charge of Santander UK and Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia was chief executive of Virgin Money but Rose is the only woman so far to lead one of the UK's four biggest banks, which are RBS, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and HSBC. 

It also means that two of the most senior roles at RBS will be held by women, after Katie Murray was promoted to chief financial officer earlier this year. RBS chairman Howard Davies said: "Following a rigorous internal and external process, I am confident that we have appointed the best person for the job."

RBS still remains majority-owned by the UK government, with a stake of 62%, after it was bailed out with £45.5bn of taxpayers' money during the 2008 financial crisis.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
The FCA has today announced that Sheree Howard has been appointed as executive director of risk and compliance oversight (R&CO).

Howard is currently Interim Director of R&CO having joined the FCA as a Senior Adviser in December 2017. Prior to joining the FCA, Sheree spent more than 25 years in financial services, both in the Insurance and Banking sectors.

During this time, she held a range of senior roles and gained valuable experience of pricing, acquisitions, sales, divestment, risk and compliance alongside the more traditional actuarial roles. Sheree has been a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries since 1994.

Commenting on her appointment, FCA Chief Executive Andrew Bailey said: "Sheree brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and has already made a real contribution to the FCA as a Senior Adviser and as Interim Director of Risk and Compliance Oversight. I look forward to continuing to work with Sheree in her vital role on Executive Committee and advising the Board on the breadth of risk in the organisation."

Howard said: "Having spent just under two years at the FCA, I am excited to be able to take up this role on the Executive Committee. I am looking forward to working with everyone in Risk and Compliance Oversight as well as with the Executive, Board and the rest of the FCA in helping to deliver our strategic aims."

Canada Life
Canada Life
has recruited John Chew into the role of pension and estate planning specialist, reporting to Andrew Tully.

Chew will be working with advisers to help them "navigate the broader issues of retirement and estate planning", Canada Life said. Most recently, Chew was commercial director at Fidelity International, responsible for the strategy and business plan for Fidelity Retirement Services.

Prior to Fidelity, John worked at Legal and General as product and funds director in the savings business.

Andrew Tully, technical director at Canada Life, said: "John joins the business at an exciting time as we increasingly focus on the retirement market and look to extend our technical expertise and support for advisers. He brings a wealth of experience from a broad-ranging career with thorough knowledge of pensions, investments, estate planning and the platform market.

Chew, pension and estate planning specialist at Canada Life, added: "Having recently been working with consulting firms on new products and market entry, this role is the perfect opportunity to use my technical knowledge and experience to help advisers navigate the ever changing regulatory environment."

AJ Bell
AJ Bell has appointed Rachel Vahey to the role of senior technical consultant, starting on 30 September. Vahey is a well-known and respected pension expert with over 25 years of experience within the industry.

As part of the technical team at AJ Bell, Rachel will help financial advisers understand the changing pensions and savings environment and how new legislation and regulation affects them and their clients. 

She will feature regularly as a speaker at AJ Bell's events and seminars for advisers, as well as writing content and articles for AJ Bell's website. Previously Vahey worked at Nucleus and Aegon. 

Gareth James, head of technical at AJ Bell, commented: "Rachel is an excellent addition to our technical team at AJ Bell.  She will be well known to many financial advisers already and brings significant experience and expertise which will be of great value to advisers using our services."

Vahey commented: "AJ Bell is a company I've admired for a long time.  It has a strong heritage in the SIPP and platform market and is clearly very focused on helping and supporting the financial advisers it does business with.  I'm looking forward to being part of that."

UK-based Earthworm has made two key appointments in its client services team: Jenni Howard as client services manager and Michael Thompson as client services specialist.

Howard has over 14 years' experience dealing with investors, advisers and clients and will lead the client services team. Before joining Earthworm, she worked at a venture capital firm for over four years, and prior to that she worked in high net worth banking and retail customer service. She ensures she always puts the customer at the heart of everything she does and represents the 'voice' of the customer within the firm.

Thompson has also joined the client services team. He spent the best part of a decade working for HSBC and Barclays in their premier banking teams, where he developed his passion for delivering the best service possible. Michael moved away from the finance industry to manage two extra care schemes which provided support to vulnerable adults to enable them to live independently in their communities. His most recent role was at a venture capital firm where he was responsible for providing support to both investors and advisers.

Ben Prior, CEO at Earthworm, said: "Our clients are vital to our business and it's really important we have the right support in place for them. Jenni and Michael's expertise adds strength to the growing Earthworm team and will help improve the experiences our clients, investors and advisers have with us."

Just Group
Just Group, a specialist UK financial services group focusing on attractive segments of the UK retirement income market, has announced that David Richardson has been appointed to the role of group chief executive officer with immediate effect.

Chris Gibson Smith, chairman, commented: "The strength of our leadership team is a top priority for the Board and, following a comprehensive external search, we are pleased to announce the appointment of David Richardson as our Group CEO. David's leadership is already transforming the Group, and making his interim CEO role permanent is a natural step for us to take. Together with Andy Parsons' arrival as chief financial officer in the New Year this means we will have a first-class team in place to lead the Group forward."

Richardson also commented: "I am delighted to have been offered this opportunity, and I'd like to thank the Directors for appointing me at this crucial time. As I stated in our recent interim results announcement, capital is the Group's number one priority with our key objective to be organically capital generative by 2022. We continue to operate good businesses and are well positioned in attractive markets, but we must use our capital base wisely. My job is to maximise shareholder value, with no options excluded."

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