David Ferguson leaves Nucleus after James Hay deal

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Nucleus CEO David Ferguson has decided to leave the platform following its takeover by James Hay.

He has resigned from the board of directors but will remain with the company for the time being for a transfer period.

Ferguson’s future within the combined group has had a question mark since the deal was first announced in February this year.

An update this morning said he plans to “pursue other opportunities.”

Another longtime member of the Nucleus team, Chief Customer Officer Barry Neilson, will also be leaving the platform.

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Today’s announcement also confirmed that the Nucleus name will replace the James Hay name for the expanded group, which Money Marketing revealed last month when the transaction gained regulatory approval.

Having recently joined the Nucleus Board of Directors, Richard Rowney, Managing Director of the James Hay Group, will assume the responsibilities of Ferguson and oversee the management team of the merged company.

Ferguson said: “It’s been 23 years since we started working on a collection of ideas that eventually led to the nearly £ 20 billion platform that is Nucleus today. We wanted to create something really collaborative, and I’ve had the privilege of doing it with some of the most talented people in the industry.

“I hope we have been able to make a contribution to positive changes in the profession over the years, and with the company now becoming a key part of a much bigger image with James Hay, now is the right time to me to go ahead and consider a new challenge. I turn the floor over to Richard and wish him, his management team and all my colleagues, old and new, my best wishes for the future.

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Talk to Money Marketing previously Rowney said, “We admire a lot about the culture of Nucleus, which has been demonstrated under Dave’s leadership. He showed how to build a business that truly understands the needs of advisors. This is something we want to continue to build on in the future.

Today, he added, “We remain very excited about the combination of these two great companies and fully focus on the best of both companies as we build the premier platform of retirement-focused advisors. The skills and talent within these organizations, combined with the significant size of our combined group, will enable further investment in products, pricing and services, and ultimately meet the growing needs of advisors and their clients.

“Today’s announcement is an important milestone, enabling us to leverage the best of both companies on behalf of our clients. I want to reiterate our great respect and admiration for what David Ferguson has accomplished as the founder of Nucleus, and on behalf of all, I wish him the best for the future.

The two platforms will continue to operate separately for the “immediate future”. A strategic review is underway to create a “platform of advisors focused on financial planning and retirement, developed from the best features of the two existing platforms”.

The full review of the group is underway, but several decisions have already been made regarding the board of directors.

Richard Warner will become Group Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the combined group. He joined James Hay in November 2020.

Warner was previously COO at LV = while Rowney was Group CEO at the insurer. Warner also spent 21 years with professional services firm Accenture and led one of the company’s largest outsourcing contracts.

Meanwhile, Alex Kovach, who joined James Hay from Interactive Investor last year, will extend his responsibilities in distribution, marketing and product development to the entire group. He will assume the areas previously covered by Neilson as Commercial Director.

Alison Longbottom has been confirmed as Director of Human Resources, after joining James Hay in October 2020.

After James Hay’s acquisition of Nucleus became “completely unconditional,” Nucleus announced that six people had resigned from their non-executive director positions: Tracy Dunley-Owen, Margaret Hassall, John Levin, Jonathan Polin, Angus Samuels and Alfio Tagliabue.

James Hay CEO Richard Rowney, Chairman Mark Dearsley and Director Owen Wilson all become directors of Nucleus.

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