David Ferguson to depart Nucleus Financial after James Hay takeover



David Ferguson
David Ferguson

The founder of Edinburgh-based financial services company Nucleus Financial Group has departed the company following its takeover by James Hay Partnership.

In a statement announcing his departure, Nucleus founder and CEO David Ferguson said it “feels like the right time for me to move on and consider a new challenge”.

Richard Rowney, group CEO of James Hay, will assume day-to-day responsibility for the leadership of the enlarged group, comprising both Nucleus and James Hay. He joined the board of Nucleus earlier this month.

With around £47 billion of assets under administration, the combined group is now one of the largest adviser platform providers in the UK, with the scale to enable greater investment in technology, products, and service for the benefit of advisers and their clients.

The Nucleus name will be used for the enlarged group, eventually replacing James Hay’s name and brand.

Richard Warner, who joined James Hay in November 2020, will become chief operating officer of the combined group. Alex Kovach, who joined James Hay from interactive investor last year, will become chief commercial officer. Alison Longbottom, who joined James Hay in October 2020, will be chief people officer.

Mr Ferguson said: “It’s 23 years since we started work on a collection of ideas that eventually led to the near £20bn platform that Nucleus is today. We aimed to create something that was truly collaborative, and it was my privilege to do this with some of the most talented people in the industry.

“I hope we’ve been able to make a contribution towards the positive changes in the profession over the years, and with the company now becoming a key part of a much bigger picture with James Hay, it feels like the right time for me to move on and consider a new challenge.

“I hand over to Richard and wish him, his leadership team and all my colleagues, new and old, best wishes for the future.”

Mr Rowney added: “We remain very excited by the combination of these two great businesses and are fully focused on taking the best of both firms forward as we create the leading retirement-focused adviser platform.

“The skills and talent within these organisations, combined with the significant scale of our combined group will enable greater investment in products, price and service, and ultimately meet the developing needs of advisers and their clients.

“Today’s announcement is a significant milestone, enabling us to harness what is best from both businesses, on behalf of our customers. I would like to reiterate our great respect and admiration for what David Ferguson has achieved as a founder of Nucleus, and on behalf of everyone I would like to wish him all the very best for the future.”



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