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5 June 2024

Nucleus finds majority of UK adults sceptical about state pension future

Nucleus Financial Platforms Group (Nucleus), one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform groups, has released new research revealing that 71% of UK adults believe the state pension will not exist or will be less generous when they retire.

Find out more

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22 May 2024

Nucleus Receives Regulatory Approval for the Acquisition of Third Financial

Nucleus Financial Platforms, one of the UK’s largest adviser platform groups with £89bn of assets under administration (AUA) from 235,000 customers, has received approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for the acquisition of Third Financial.

Find out more

15 May 2024

Nucleus appoints two new Non-Executive Directors

Nucleus Financial Platforms, one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform groups, has announced the appointment of two new Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) to its board.

Find out more

25 April 2024

Nucleus hosts panel of inspiring women to discuss the importance of fostering inclusivity in the workplace

Nucleus hosted a panel discussion last week entitled ‘Inspiring Inclusion’, bringing together experts from across the industry to share stories of their own career journeys, and discuss the importance of building inclusive workplaces and attracting a more diverse pool of talent into our industry.

Find out more

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Nucleus Financial Platforms Group (Nucleus), one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform groups, has released new research revealing that 71% of UK adults believe the state pension will not exist or will be less generous when they retire. You can download a copy of our latest report now.

With a general election set for 4 July, the state pension is a topical issue again. As political parties vie to secure votes, discussions around the benefit have heated up.

Of the 2,100 people aged 18 and above who took part in Nucleus’ recent YouGov survey looking at retirement confidence levels:

  • Almost a quarter (24%) said they think the state pension will not exist in its current form.
  • A further 24% think it will be a lot less generous than it is today by the time they reach state pension age (SPA).
  • Meanwhile, 15% think the state pension will be a little less generous than the current level and 8% believe it will not exist at all.
  • Conversely, 6% said they think the state pension will be more generous than it is today. A further 5% are already receiving their state pension and 18% were unsure as to what its future might look like.

The state pension plays a key role in average income for existing pensioners, but Nucleus’ research shows future generations are realising they may not be able to count on it.

Overall women are more doubtful about whether the state pension will exist in years to come. Just over a quarter (26%) think it will not exist in its current form, while 9% believe it will be a thing of the past entirely. This compares with 21% and 7% respectively for men.

Fewer women (4%) think the state pension will be more generous than today, whereas 9% of men hold that view.

For people reaching SPA now, it will be age 66 for both men and women. For those born after 5 April 1960, there will be a phased increase to age 67 and eventually 68.

Those aged between 35 and 54 are most sceptical that the state pension will exist as it does now.

Andrew Tully, Technical Services Director at Nucleus, said: “These findings re-affirm the importance of having a plan for retirement. State pensions are the bedrock of people’s retirement income, but they are complex and the position is constantly changing. Over the past 10 years we have seen the introduction of the new state pension, increases to state pension age with more to come soon, and a constant debate around the future of the triple lock. It’s therefore no surprise that many have little confidence the state pension will be around in its current format, or exist at all, by the time they reach state pension age. Being unable to rely on the state pension makes planning even more vital.

“However, the constant change in pension legislation doesn’t support retirement planning. That’s why we’re a driving voice in the industry in the call for an independent, long-term savings commission. On such a crucial topic as retirement, we need cross-party consensus on the development of proposals for pension and savings policy, including how much the state pension should be and when it should be paid over the longer term. It would bring much-needed clarity and allow more people to plan for their retirement with confidence.”

Nucleus found that more than 20% of each age group believe the state pension will be a lot less generous than it is today, while the youngest cohort were the most unsure what way it could go.

All age groups were somewhat muted (between 5% and 8%) when it came to thinking the state pension will be more generous than it is today.

Respondents aged 35 to 44 were the most vocal (13%) about the prospect of the state pension disappearing altogether. This was followed by those aged 45 to 54 (11%). Only 2% of those aged 55 and over thought that would be the case, while 5% of those aged 18 to 24 and 9% aged 25 to 34 agreed.

Nucleus’ findings support the fact that - understandably, those with a longer time horizon until they retire may have concerns about their financial future.

Last year, Nucleus launched its inaugural UK Retirement Confidence Index and found overall adults aged 50 and over had a confidence score of 6.9.  Six months on it followed up with this latest survey, this time broadening the age range to those 18 and above.

Based on responses to the same central question of how confident people feel about having enough money to live on for the rest of their lives, the updated results reveal an overall confidence score of 4.4 out of 10 – down 36%.

The most recent results show a significant gap in confidence levels between younger ages and those aged 55+ (the most confident with a score of 5.3).  

Perhaps surprisingly, the youngest age group (18 to 24) was the next most confident at 4.6. However, those aged 25 to 54 had an average score of 3.5. 

There was also a difference between men (4.8) and women (4).

Nucleus will be releasing the next UK Retirement Confidence Index in November 2024.
 

ENDS

Enquiries:

Head of Public Relations
Linda Harper (Monday - Wednesday)  T: 07876 145309
Victoria Webb (Wednesday - Friday)  T: 07969 113758
E: newsroom@nucleusfinancial.com

Notes to editors:

The Nucleus Financial Platforms group offers investment platforms and products exclusively to financial advisers, that ultimately help make retirement more rewarding.
Renowned for its SIPP expertise, James Hay Partnership has been working with larger financial advisory groups for more than 40 years, providing the means to administer pensions, savings and investments in a cost and tax efficient way.
Our award-winning platform Nucleus was founded in 2006 by advisers committed to altering the balance of power in the industry by putting the customer centre stage.
Curtis Banks is one of the UK’s largest administrators of SIPP and SSAS solutions for customers and businesses.

It is one of Europe’s largest commercial property landlords, a specialist area for self-invested pensions. The business maintains a focus on providing high levels of technical support, robust service, modern technology and innovation.
Together we’re one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform and product groups, with approximately £89 billion in assets under administration, helping nearly 5,500 advisers make retirement more rewarding for almost 235,000 customers.

Nucleus Retirement Confidence Index: Six months on

Nucleus Financial Platforms, one of the UK’s largest adviser platform groups with £89bn of assets under administration (AUA) from 235,000 customers, has received approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for the acquisition of Third Financial.

Third Financial is a fast-growing investment platform and software provider. The acquisition enables the group to further expand its ‘adviser-as-a-platform ’ proposition, offering a complete range of platform, product and software solutions for advisory businesses and consolidators, as well as discretionary fund managers (DFMs).

It’s fully aligned with Nucleus’ strategy of building scale so it can continue investing in product, service and price, while Third Financial will benefit from the financial strength, opportunities and capabilities of the wider Nucleus group.

Richard Rowney, Chief Executive Officer of Nucleus, said: “We’re pleased to have received regulatory approval and now look forward to welcoming the Third Financial team into our group. The acquisition extends and complements our existing enterprise and ‘adviser-as-a-platform’ proposition, enabling us to offer a full spectrum of platform models to advisers, consolidators and DFMs of all types.”

ENDS

Enquiries:

Victoria Webb
Head of Public Relations
E: newsroom@nucleusfinancial.com 

Tom Allison/Shan Willenbrock
TB Cardew
T: 0778 9998020/07775 848537

About Nucleus:

The Nucleus Financial Platforms group offers investment platforms and products exclusively to financial advisers, that ultimately help make retirement more rewarding.
Renowned for its SIPP expertise, James Hay Partnership has been working with larger financial advisory groups for more than 40 years, providing the means to administer pensions, savings and investments in a cost and tax efficient way.
Our award-winning platform Nucleus was founded in 2006 by advisers committed to altering the balance of power in the industry by putting the customer centre stage.
Curtis Banks is one of the UK’s largest administrators of SIPP and SSAS solutions for customers and businesses.

It is one of Europe’s largest commercial property landlords, a specialist area for self-invested pensions. The business maintains a focus on providing high levels of technical support, robust service, modern technology and innovation.
Together we’re one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform and product groups, with approximately £89 billion in assets under administration, helping nearly 5,500 advisers make retirement more rewarding for almost 235,000 customers.

About Third Financial:

Third Financial is the UK's leading investment platform for the thinking wealth adviser and manager.
It brings together its own market-leading technology and the expertise of over 100 industry professionals within a culture of exceptional client service.
It provides the core processing, asset servicing and market connectivity for the management of over £50bn of assets.
It delivers a full digital experience to wealth professionals and their clients with the reassurance of friendly and expert support when required.

Nucleus Receives Regulatory Approval for the Acquisition of Third Financial

Nucleus Financial Platforms, one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform groups, has announced the appointment of two new Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) to its board.

Cathryn Riley, who started on 1 May, will chair the remuneration committee, and Clare Bousfield will join on 1 July and chair the risk committee.  They replace Judith Davidson and Kathryn Purves respectively. The appointments are subject to regulatory approval.

Cathryn Riley is an experienced non-executive director and committee chair with extensive UK and international experience, serving on a number of different boards across the financial services industry in both public and private markets.  She’s currently a board member at the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and Liberty Managing Agency. Former NED roles have included AA Insurance Services Limited, the AA PLC, Chubb European Group Limited, International Personal Finance PLC and Equitable Life Assurance Society.

With an executive career spanning more than 30 years, Cathryn has broad experience working in senior functional and commercial roles. She spent 17 years with Aviva where, in her final role as Group Chief Operations Officer, she was responsible for IT, Business Change and Operational Shared Services. Prior to this she was Group Chief Information Officer. She has also held key executive roles at BUPA, PWC and British Airways.

Clare Bousfield is also an experienced non-executive director and committee chair, currently chairing Audit and Risk for IVC Evidensia, and also recently joined the board of BUPA Ltd. Previous NED roles have included RSA Insurance Group PLC and Pacific Life Re Ltd.

In her executive career Clare was CEO for M&G retail and savings businesses and prior to that CFO with M&G plc, CFO with Aegon UK and also held a number of senior roles with Swiss Reinsurance. Clare is an Advisory Member at Fintech Growth Fund and Deputy President at the Association of British Insurers.

Gordon Wilson, Chair at Nucleus, said: “We are delighted to welcome Cathryn and Clare to our Board. The depth and breadth of their experience, as both executives and as NEDs, will help us to deliver our strategy and drive the business forward as we continue to invest in our propositions and service, and develop our new retirement platform.

“Both share the same relentless focus on driving great customer outcomes and understand how developing our people and technology, aligned to operational excellence, are central to our ongoing success. We’ll hugely benefit from having two people of such calibre join our board.

“I would also like to thank Judith and Kathryn for their contribution to the group’s development. We’ve benefited from their counsel during what has been an exceptionally busy chapter in our growth, including the acquisition of Curtis Banks at the end of last year and most recently Third Financial. Kathryn’s long association with James Hay’s previous parent company, and latterly as our senior independent director, and Judith’s oversight of consumer duty for the last eighteen months, have been greatly valued. 

“My board colleagues and I wish them both well for the future.”

ENDS

Enquiries:

Linda Harper
Head of Public Relations
E: newsroom@nucleusfinancial.com  
T:  07876 145309

Notes to editors:

The Nucleus Financial Platforms group offers investment platforms and products exclusively to financial advisers, that ultimately help make retirement more rewarding.
Renowned for its SIPP expertise, James Hay Partnership has been working with larger financial advisory groups for more than 40 years, providing the means to administer pensions, savings and investments in a cost and tax efficient way.
Our award-winning platform Nucleus was founded in 2006 by advisers committed to altering the balance of power in the industry by putting the customer centre stage.
Curtis Banks is one of the UK’s largest administrators of SIPP and SSAS solutions for customers and businesses. It is one of Europe’s largest commercial property landlords, a specialist area for self-invested pensions. The business maintains a focus on providing high levels of technical support, robust service, modern technology and innovation.
Together we’re one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform and product groups, with approximately £89 billion in assets under administration, helping nearly 5,500 advisers make retirement more rewarding for almost 235,000 customers.
Nucleus appoints two new Non-Executive Directors

Nucleus hosted a panel discussion last week entitled ‘Inspiring Inclusion’, bringing together experts from across the industry to share stories of their own career journeys, and discuss the importance of building inclusive workplaces and attracting a more diverse pool of talent into our industry.

The panel session was hosted by Mike Regan, Nucleus’ Chief Commercial Officer and executive sponsor of its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion network. It was one of a series of events the platform has hosted recently to recognise the importance of inclusion.

The panel included:

  • Heather Hopkins, Founder and MD of NextWealth
  • Philippa Hann, Consultant, NED. speaker and coach
  • Cathi Harrison, CEO, The Verve Group
  • Jenny Thorpe, Chief Transformation Officer, Nucleus 

The discussion was wide ranging and covered the importance of fostering diversity and inclusion, the progress we’ve made as an industry and what more can be done.

Why is inspiring inclusion and creating an inclusive environment important?

Heather Hopkins said: “I think the key for me is that its good for business and there’s lots of evidence to support that. There are so many different characteristics of diversity that are important. We have an opportunity to reach a much wider population by fostering inclusivity but if we don’t look diverse, we won’t be able to attract a diverse range of people into our industry.”


Phillippa Hann said: “I’m not sure that I am determined to create an inclusive environment but what I am obsessed with is running good businesses. When I look at running a really good business, I ask myself - how do I create a really great workplace, how do I ensure that we make the best decisions that aren’t infected with group think, that we aren’t creating a workplace for only one type of person but one where anyone can be successful? And the answer to that happens to be an inclusive workplace.”


Cathi Harrison said: “We all know how important good financial planning advice is for people but if there isn’t an industry that feels inclusive where individuals can see people that reflect themselves and that they feel comfortable going to and getting financial advice from then I think we’re doing the general public a disservice.”


Jenny Thorpe said: “There’s all sorts of research about problem solving and how you get a much better outcome from bringing together a different mix of people who think in different ways. And then there’s the simple fact that we spend so much of our time at work, so if you can bring your own self to work, in a workplace that is diverse and inclusive, that just makes for a much better working environment for colleagues.”

Over your own careers what do you think have been the positive changes and the things that have made a real difference?

Heather Hopkins said: “What the data tells us are that, in the under 45 age category, 27% financial advisers are female but in the over 45 demographic that falls to 9%. So, while there’s still lots to do, we are seeing progress. In my working life the main change I’ve seen is the emergence of female forums and networks. The data shows that women who progress further in their careers tend to be better connected, not just across their industry but they also have strong ties to other female peers.”


Cathi Harrison said: “I think the whole ecosystem has changed. From things like Women in Finance awards to networking events, connections are possible now that simply weren’t there before. Take for example the Women in Platform events - just walking into a room full of smart, successful people that all happen to be women was something that didn’t happen 15 years ago when I first started out. However, I definitely want to be clear that there’s still a lot more we need to do.”


Jenny Thorpe said: “What has made a difference to me over my working life is sponsorship and I think it’s so important to have people who are part of your network who are championing you. I’ve been lucky enough to benefit from that during my career. And for us now as leaders, we have a role and a responsibility to connect people and bring them into the right conversations or projects and to really understand our teams and how different individuals want to develop their careers.”


Philippa Hann said: “I totally agree on the importance of sponsorship and networks. I think my call to action today is, as people who have all experienced the positive benefit of our network and were fortunate to have benefited from people who championed us at different stages in our careers, we have an obligation to keep this going. We need to be doing that for other people, taking people to meetings, giving them some of our time and listening to them. One of the most important things for me is the power of really good 1:1’s.”

What more do we need to do? The key takeaways from our panel were:

  • There will be many people across the industry thinking I don’t see a hugely diverse range of applicants applying for jobs when I go out to look for people so how do we help change that.
  • We should be doing more to promote financial planning as a career. We haven’t done a good enough job in going out and telling people about the fantastic career opportunities within our industry.
  • How do we work better to find people with potential who would not otherwise have considered a career in financial planning or in the many other interesting roles within our industry.
     

Commenting on the discussion, Mike Regan, Chief Commercial officer at Nucleus, said: “It was a privilege to speak to four inspiring women and role models and to hear from them on their own career journeys and on the importance of creating workplaces that are truly inclusive.


“We know that seeking out diverse talent and creating an inclusive workplace is not only the right thing to do but will help us to thrive as a business. We want to build an inclusive organisation where our people are representative of advisers, customers and the communities in which we operate.


“It’s clear to me that, while a great deal of progress has been made, that there is still a lot more that needs to be done to ensure we are attracting a more diverse group of people into our industry.


“That’s why we are doing things like supporting the Verve’s ‘We Are Change’ programme to encourage more women to become advisers and play our part in tackling the diversity gap in the advice sector.”


Nucleus has created four employee-led networks: LGBTQ+, Culture and Ethnic Diversity, Disability & Health and Women at Nucleus. The networks are responsible for raising awareness, building community and advocating for change across the business.
 

Mike Regan added: “It’s important that our employee-led networks help drive our actions and policy on ED&I. We didn’t want to sit in a darkened room with a group of senior people and say we know all the answers. Our teams and our people will guide us on this and help us find the right solutions.”


ENDS

Enquiries:

Linda Harper
Head of Public Relations - Nucleus Financial Platforms group
E: newsroom@nucleusfinancial.com
T: +44 (0) 7876 145309

Notes to editors:

About the panel

Philippa Hann 
Philippa is a dual qualified solicitor and financial adviser. For 20 years she specialised in financial services law and until recently was on the board of Clarke Willmott Solicitors where she managed the litigation division with over 100 lawyers. Philippa is currently Head of Solicitor Engagement at RQ ratings and a Non-Executive Director at Paradigm Norton Financial Planning and Nicholls Stevens Financial Services.
Cathi Harrison 
CEO and founder of the Verve Group. With a passion for financial services and for breaking the mould, Cathy uses her extensive experience, knowledge and qualifications to keep pushing new boundaries in a quest to help the industry evolve.
Heather Hopkins
In a career spanning Toronto, Boston, Tokyo and London, Heather Hopkins is a data and research expert specialising in the UK financial adviser and retail wealth management markets. Heather is the Managing Director and Founder of NextWealth. She is also on the board of the Mercantile Investment Trust and Orbis Investments UK.
Jenny Thorpe 
Jenny is the Chief Technology Officer and chair of the Nucleus ED&I network. Prior to joining Nucleus, Jenny was an Associate Director at Alpha FMC, delivering a range of initiatives for leading platforms and held various roles across transformation, IT strategy and architecture at Aegon and Alliance Trust.

About Nucleus

The Nucleus Financial Platforms group offers investment platforms and products exclusively to financial advisers, that ultimately help make retirement more rewarding. 
Renowned for its SIPP expertise, James Hay Partnership has been working with larger financial advisory groups for more than 40 years, providing the means to administer pensions, savings and investments in a cost and tax efficient way. 
Our award-winning platform Nucleus was founded in 2006 by advisers committed to altering the balance of power in the industry by putting the customer centre stage.
Curtis Banks is one of the UK’s largest administrators of SIPP and SSAS solutions for customers and businesses. It is one of Europe’s largest commercial property landlords, a specialist area for self-invested pensions. The business maintains a focus on providing high levels of technical support, robust service, modern technology and innovation. 
Together we’re one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform and product groups, with approximately £89 billion in assets under administration, helping nearly 5,500 advisers make retirement more rewarding for almost 235,000 customers.
To find out more visit: www.nucleusfinancial.com

 
Nucleus hosts panel of inspiring women to discuss the importance of fostering inclusivity in the workplace

HMRC today announced the latest Inheritance Tax (IHT) receipts, within their wider tax receipts document: HMRC tax receipts and National Insurance contributions for the UK (monthly bulletin) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
 

  • Total HMRC tax receipts for the 2023/24 tax year are £827.7 billion, which is £39.1 billion higher than last year.
  • Receipts were higher from Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs), business taxes and VAT
  • Receipts were lower from stamp taxes and Tobacco.

Inheritance Tax

  • IHT receipts for 2023/24 are a new record £7.5 billion, which is £0.4 billion higher than last year.
  • This continues the strong upward trajectory over the last few years (see graph below).
  • The current £325,000 nil rate band has been at that level since 2009. The residential nil rate band was introduced on a phased basis between 2017 and 2020 and potentially gives an additional £175,000 nil rate band (making a total of £500,000) subject to certain rules.
  • Both are currently intended to be frozen until 2028.
  • Given all of this the need for expert financial planning remains crucial.
     

Andrew Tully, Technical Services Director at Nucleus, said: “These are record IHT receipts following on from previous record highs in each of the last two years. The Office of Budget Responsibility predicts the IHT take will be £9.7bn in 2028/29 which means the impact of this tax is set to continue growing strongly.

Advisers can help manage an estate by setting up trusts, making use of gift allowances, and using a pension to pass on wealth to family in a tax efficient way.”

Enquiries:

Linda Harper 
Head of Public Relations - Nucleus Financial Platforms group
E: newsroom@nucleusfinancial.com

T: +44 (0) 7876 145309

Notes to editors:

About Nucleus

The Nucleus Financial Platforms group offers investment platforms and products exclusively to financial advisers, that ultimately help make retirement more rewarding.
Renowned for its SIPP expertise, James Hay Partnership has been working with larger financial advisory groups for more than 40 years, providing the means to administer pensions, savings and investments in a cost and tax efficient way.
Our award-winning platform Nucleus was founded in 2006 by advisers committed to altering the balance of power in the industry by putting the customer centre stage.
Curtis Banks is one of the UK’s largest administrators of SIPP and SSAS solutions for customers and businesses. It is one of Europe’s largest commercial property landlords, a specialist area for self invested pensions. The business maintains a focus on providing high levels of technical support, robust service, modern technology and innovation.
Together we’re one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform and product groups, with approximately £89 billion in assets under administration, helping nearly 5,500 advisers make retirement more rewarding for almost 235,000 customers.
 
Andrew Tully comments on record IHT receipts

The FCA today released its retirement income data for 2022/23 (Retirement income market data 2022/23 | FCA).

A summary of the data is detailed in the table below.

2021/22 2022/23
Number of plans Monetary value (£000) Number of plans Monetary value (£000)
Total pots accessed for first time 705,661 45,638,188 739,535 43,199,189
Annuities purchased 60,574 5,153,150 59,163 4,060,947
New drawdown policies entered into and not fully withdrawn 205,641 31,794,619 218,074 29,867,353
Pots where first partial UFPLS payment taken and not fully withdrawn 36,271 3,693,212 41,571 4,002,707
Full cash withdrawals from pots being accessed for first time* 395,235 4,997,207 420,727 5,268,182


It shows:

  • Slightly more pots (4.9% higher) were accessed for the first time in 2022/23 than in 2021/22 (739,535 vs 705,661).
  • However the monetary value was down, suggesting more people took out slightly lower value withdrawals.
  • The percentage of customers using the different solutions has remained broadly constant.
  • In monetary terms the majority of funds go into drawdown.
  • In customer numbers most take full cash withdrawals.
  • Sales of annuities fell slightly, which is probably a surprise given rates have generally been good.
  • The number of DB transfers continued to fall.

Andrew Tully, Technical Services Director at Nucleus Financial, said: “The effects of the cost-of-living crisis will unfortunately be felt for years to come, so it’s no surprise to see greater numbers of people making withdrawals from pensions than in the previous tax year. We have recently conducted some consumer research which revealed that 74% of UK adults cite ‘affordability’ as one of the issues that negatively affects their retirement confidence. That figure rises to 81% of those aged between 45-54. Many people need to access their pension while still working to pay unexpected bills or help wider family.

“Drawdown will remain the key retirement solution for many as it gives the flexibility to cope with changing needs in retirement. Given the ongoing freezing of the tax thresholds, being able to vary income to ensure it is taken as tax efficiently as possible is a key benefit. The increase in advised annuity sales isn’t a surprise given the significantly higher rates. But blending drawdown with a guaranteed income may give a better outcome than solely using an annuity.

“Given the range of retirement options available, it is important consumers get good advice at the point they first access their pensions savings and on an ongoing basis to work out the best options for their individual circumstances.

“Drawdown advice can be complex, covering areas such as the sustainability over a long time period; the ideal investment options; and tax advice, including how to pass on wealth efficiently to family. Advisers need to be clearly documenting their advice as that is one of the areas the FCA focused on during its retirement income advice review.”

Enquiries:

Linda Harper
Head of Public Relations - Nucleus Financial Platforms group
E: newsroom@nucleusfinancial.com
T: +44 (0) 7876 145309

Notes to editors:

The Nucleus Financial Platforms group offers investment platforms and products exclusively to financial advisers, that ultimately help make retirement more rewarding.
Renowned for its SIPP expertise, James Hay Partnership has been working with larger financial advisory groups for more than 40 years, providing the means to administer pensions, savings and investments in a cost and tax efficient way.
Our award-winning platform Nucleus was founded in 2006 by advisers committed to altering the balance of power in the industry by putting the customer centre stage.
Curtis Banks is one of the UK’s largest administrators of SIPP and SSAS solutions for customers and businesses. It is one of Europe’s largest commercial property landlords, a specialist area for self invested pensions. The business maintains a focus on providing high levels of technical support, robust service, modern technology and innovation.
Together we’re one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform and product groups, with approximately £89 billion in assets under administration, helping nearly 5,500 advisers make retirement more rewarding for almost 235,000 customers.
To find out more visit: www.nucleusfinancial.com
Andrew Tully comments on the FCA retirement income market data

Nucleus Financial Platforms, one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform and product groups, has appointed Julia Peake as Technical Manager, further strengthening its Technical Services team.

Julia joins from Canada Life where she was a technical specialist for three years, and previously worked for Sanlam. In a career spanning over 20 years in financial services, she’s held a number of roles working with providers, wealth planners and national advisory networks in pension, tax, trust and estate planning.

Reporting to Andy Tully, Technical Services Director, Julia will be part of Nucleus’ specialist Technical Services team, supporting advisers and helping to shape the group’s overall proposition.

Following the acquisition of Curtis Banks, Nucleus has brought together its 15 strong team of technical specialists into a single centre of excellence.

The team creates bespoke technical content and attends both Nucleus-led and wider industry events sharing technical expertise and insight to deepen advisers’ understanding of the ever-changing financial landscape, and how they can deliver better outcomes for their clients.

They also work with industry groups and regulators, along with other statutory bodies, to champion financial planning and campaign and lobby for change to ensure greater political consensus around pension and long-term savings policy.

Andy Tully, Technical Services Director, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Julia to Nucleus. Her expertise will strengthen our team supporting advisers as they wrestle with the complexities of taxation and pensions so they can support their clients.

“She joins at a crucial time given the number of recent changes. Our role is to help advisers navigate these so that they can ultimately help make retirement more rewarding for their clients.”

Julia Peake, Technical Manager at Nucleus, added: “I’m thrilled to join Nucleus’ respected technical team. With an uncertain policy roadmap and a potential change of government later this year, there’s lots to do to support advisers helping them to keep on top of the changes and to deliver exceptional support to their clients.

“It’s great to be working with Andy again and everyone across Nucleus has been so welcoming. I’m looking forward to playing my part in helping to build the best retirement platform for advisers and their clients.

“In these uncertain times, with widespread cost-of-living concerns and volatile markets, it’s more important than ever to improve understanding of pensions, taxation and building a holistic financial strategy so that more people can feel confident about their financial future.”

You can download a PDF of the press release here
 

ENDS
 

Enquiries:

Linda Harper 
Head of Public Relations - Nucleus Financial Platforms group
E: newsroom@nucleusfinancial.com

T: +44 (0) 7876 145309
 

Notes to editors:

The Nucleus Financial Platforms group offers investment platforms and products exclusively to financial advisers, that ultimately help make retirement more rewarding.
Renowned for its SIPP expertise, James Hay Partnership has been working with larger financial advisory groups for more than 40 years, providing the means to administer pensions, savings and investments in a cost and tax efficient way.
Our award-winning platform Nucleus was founded in 2006 by advisers committed to altering the balance of power in the industry by putting the customer centre stage.
Curtis Banks is one of the UK’s largest administrators of SIPP and SSAS solutions for customers and businesses. It is one of Europe’s largest commercial property landlords, a specialist area for self invested pensions. The business maintains a focus on providing high levels of technical support, robust service, modern technology and innovation.
Together we’re one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform and product groups, with approximately £89 billion in assets under administration, helping nearly 5,500 advisers make retirement more rewarding for almost 235,000 customers.
To find out more visit: www.nucleusfinancial.com 

 
Nucleus appoints Julia Peake to further strengthen its Technical Services team
  • Nucleus Financial Platforms has reached an agreement to acquire Third Financial, one of the fastest growing investment platform and software providers in the UK.
  • The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and will enable Nucleus to offer a full range of platform solutions to meet the needs of advisory and wealth firms, including ‘adviser-as-a-platform’.
  • Third Financial will continue to be led by existing Chief Executive Ian Partington, and benefit from the opportunities provided by the wider group.

Nucleus Financial Platforms, one of the UK’s largest adviser platform groups with over £80bn of assets under administration from 250,000 customers, announces the acquisition of Third Financial.

Third Financial is a leading investment platform and front-to-back wealth management software provider, serving discretionary wealth managers, multi-family offices, and adviser consolidators.

The business has delivered strong organic growth in recent years, with revenue increasing by more than 30% in 2023. It has over 50 clients in the UK with £6bn of assets under administration on its platform and a further £40bn of assets administered via its software system, Tercero.

The acquisition will enable Nucleus to extend the platform solutions it offers advisory firms of all sizes. As well as the existing leading retail retirement platform and specialist SIPP and SSAS products, Nucleus will benefit from Third Financial’s proprietary technology, enabling an enhanced ‘adviser-as-a-platform’ proposition to meet the needs of larger businesses who want to offer their own platform.

The move represents a sizeable growth opportunity, as research by NextWealth* showed that an increasing number of larger advisory groups were exploring establishing their own platform as a way of increasing revenue, reducing risk, and improving operational efficiency. The key benefit to advisers of this approach is the provision of greater control over the products, service, and price.

The combination with Third Financial is fully aligned with the group’s strategic ambition of building scale and capability through organic growth and compelling acquisition opportunities.
 
Upon completion, the group’s platform AUA is expected to be circa £90bn.

Richard Rowney, Chief Executive Officer of Nucleus, said: “We're delighted to announce the acquisition of Third Financial. By combining our scale, expertise and relationships, with their innovative technology, we’ll be able to offer a broader proposition to serve the needs of wealth managers and advisory businesses across the sector.

“We’ve long admired the team that Ian has built at Third Financial and what they’ve achieved. Their focus on innovation and client centricity has clearly differentiated their business, establishing them as one of the leading investment platform providers, and they will be a great addition to our group.”

Ian Partington, Group Chief Executive of Third Financial added: “A crucial factor in the decision to join Nucleus is that we feel very culturally aligned. Delivering excellence for our clients has always been core to our success, and in the Nucleus team we found that quality fully reflected.

“Now with our combined expertise and resource we can deliver even more to existing and future clients both in terms of products and service. Collectively our focus will remain on running a stable and profitable expanded service, continuing to support clients so they can deliver great outcomes for their customers.”

Nucleus is being advised by Fenchurch Advisory Partners and Slaughter and May.
Third Financial is being advised by GP Bullhound and Osborne Clarke.

* NextWealth the Great Platform Shakeout Report January 2023
Research by NextWealth showed that an increasing number of larger advisory groups were considering offering their own platform, as a way of reducing their risk and improving operational efficiency. The key benefit to advisers of this approach is that it provides more control over the products, service and price.
 

You can download a PDF of the press release here
 

ENDS
 

Enquiries:

Linda Harper 
Head of Public Relations - Nucleus Financial Platforms group
E: newsroom@nucleusfinancial.com

T: +44 (0) 7876 145309

Tom Allison/Shan Willenbrock
TB Cardew
T: 0778 9998020/07775 848537

Notes to editors:

About Nucleus

The Nucleus Financial Platforms group offers investment platforms and products exclusively to financial advisers, that ultimately help make retirement more rewarding.
Renowned for its SIPP expertise, James Hay Partnership has been working with larger financial advisory groups for more than 40 years, providing the means to administer pensions, savings and investments in a cost and tax efficient way.
Our award-winning platform Nucleus was founded in 2006 by advisers committed to altering the balance of power in the industry by putting the customer centre stage.
Curtis Banks is one of the UK’s largest administrators of SIPP and SSAS solutions for customers and businesses. It is one of Europe’s largest commercial property landlords, a specialist area for self invested pensions. The business maintains a focus on providing high levels of technical support, robust service, modern technology and innovation.
Together we’re one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform and product groups, with approximately £80 billion in assets under administration, helping nearly 5,000 advisers make retirement more rewarding for almost 250,000 customers.

About Third Financial

Third Financial is the UK's leading investment platform for the thinking wealth adviser and manager.
It brings together its own market-leading technology and the expertise of over 100 industry professionals within a culture of exceptional client service.
It provides the core processing, asset servicing and market connectivity for the management of over £50bn of assets.
It delivers a full digital experience to wealth professionals and their clients with the reassurance of friendly and expert support when required.
Nucleus aquires Third Financial

Nucleus Financial Platforms, one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform groups, has announced the removal of exit fees for customers of Curtis Banks SIPP products.

The change will apply to transfers out to UK based pension schemes and annuity purchases.

It follows the removal of the remaining exit fees on James Hay products last year, as well as a further reduction in the price of Nucleus Wrap.

Nucleus’ commitment to using its scale to invest in price has saved the group’s customers over £5m in the last two years, with a further £5m expected to be saved in 2024 through the combined price reductions.

Mike Regan, Nucleus Chief Commercial Officer, said: “I’m pleased that following our acquisition of Curtis Banks last year, we’re now removing exit fees. We don’t believe any customer should face unreasonable barriers to exit if they wish to leave, for whatever reason.

“Looking ahead to 2024 we’re excited about the prospect of continuing to invest in our products, service and price, enabling us to deliver great financial outcomes for our customers and ultimately helping make their retirement more rewarding.”

The exit charges this applies to are as follows:

  • Final payment and closure of pension charge
  • Transfer out charge
  • Annuity purchase charge
  • Forwarding monies post pension closure charge

You can download a PDF of the press release here
 

ENDS
 

Enquiries:

Linda Harper 
Head of Public Relations - Nucleus Financial Platforms group
E: newsroom@nucleusfinancial.com

T: +44 (0) 7876 145309
 

Notes to editors:

The Nucleus Financial Platforms group offers investment platforms and products exclusively to financial advisers, that ultimately help make retirement more rewarding.
Renowned for its SIPP expertise, James Hay Partnership has been working with larger financial advisory groups for more than 40 years, providing the means to administer pensions, savings and investments in a cost and tax efficient way.
Our award-winning platform Nucleus was founded in 2006 by advisers committed to altering the balance of power in the industry by putting the customer centre stage.
Curtis Banks is one of the UK’s largest administrators of SIPP and SSAS solutions for customers and businesses. It is one of Europe’s largest commercial property landlords, a specialist area for self invested pensions. The business maintains a focus on providing high levels of technical support, robust service, modern technology and innovation.
Together we’re one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform and product groups, with approximately £80 billion in assets under administration, helping nearly 5,000 advisers make retirement more rewarding for almost 250,000 customers.
To find out more visit: www.nucleusfinancial.com 

 
Nucleus announces removal of exit fees for Curtis Banks customers

Nucleus has reignited its call for an independent long-term savings commission with an open letter to the pensions minister and his counterparts across political parties.

The firm urges there needs to be greater cross-party agreement for pension and savings policy to ensure more people can feel confident about their retirement prospects..

It has called for a stop to the constant tinkering to pension tax rules, which is deterring people from engaging with the pension system.

Nucleus has written to pensions minister Paul Maynard and shadow minister for pensions Gill Furniss, among others, highlighting that pension savers want to see a stable tax and policy environment.

The pension legislation merry-go-round of recent years has further eroded trust at a time when people need to be saving more for later life.

Auto-enrolment has successfully created millions of new savers, but people are not saving anywhere near enough for a comfortable retirement.

Nucleus highlights the policy, proposed by an independent Pensions Commission in 2005, had wide cross-political party support from the outset and continues to do so today.

It suggests a similar independent body needs to be established now to bring the much-needed consistency to pension savers.

The letter follows a research study conducted by Nucleus last year in which it asked the thought-provoking question: ‘How confident are you that you’ll have enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life?’

As part of the 2023 Nucleus UK Retirement Confidence Index, 2,000 adults aged 50 and over were polled by YouGov to gauge how they feel about some of the most important decisions they will need to make around retirement.

The study highlighted pension savers want to have trust in the long-term savings market. It included consumer and adviser research and demonstrated the need for greater collaboration to effect positive change.

This new annual index will track UK retirement confidence over time. The inaugural report contained 14 calls to action for the industry, policy makers and consumers, around pensions legislation, financial education and communication.

One of the major arguments put forward was the need for an independent long-term savings commission. Nucleus has reiterated this call in the letter.

Andrew Tully, Technical Services Director at Nucleus and author or the letter, said: “To make meaningful positive change to long-term savings habits, our recent UK Retirement Confidence Index highlighted that we need more people to save more into their pension, to understand why they are saving and what for, and are empowered to save in an environment of trust and stability.

“Our research suggests constant tinkering and changes to rules has a negative impact on confidence. Setting up an independent long-term savings commission to depoliticise and develop proposals for pension and savings policy would bring much needed consistency and stability, which would deliver greater levels of trust and engagement.”

Nucleus outlines the aim of such a non-departmental public body would be to review the regime for UK pensions and long-term savings and make recommendations accordingly.
 

You can download a PDF of the press release here
 

A full copy of the letter follows:

Proposal to establish an independent long-term savings commission

Nucleus is one of the largest, independent investment platforms in the UK. We help over 250,000 customers manage a collective £80bn of their wealth, exclusively through independent financial advisers. Our purpose is to help them make retirement more rewarding.

We take our responsibility as the custodian of customers’ money very seriously. As such, we believe the UK needs greater political consensus around pension and long-term savings, to help more people save more for their retirement in an environment of trust and stability.

One way to achieve this would be to establish an independent long-term savings commission.

We recently conducted a major piece of customer research, The Nucleus UK Retirement Confidence Index. Via YouGov, we sought to assess whether people over the age of 50 have confidence they’ll be able to retire comfortably.

In these uncertain times, with widespread cost-of-living concerns and volatile markets, it’s more important than ever for people to feel confident about their financial future.

Our research clearly – and predictably - highlights those with defined benefit (DB) pensions are most confident. But we know DB is in sharp decline following most private schemes being closed to new joiners or bought out over the past 20 years, and there’s a rapidly growing reliance on defined contribution (DC) pension provision. We’ve evidenced that those relying solely on DC pensions are much less confident of their financial future.

Automatic enrolment is one key policy that has been a huge success in getting more people to save for their retirement, within the DC environment. This policy was proposed by an Independent Pensions Commission in 2005. Perhaps at least partly because it was proposed by an independent body, the introduction of auto-enrolment had from outset, and continues to have, wide cross-political party support.

While auto-enrolment has successfully created millions of new savers, it’s widely agreed that people are not saving anywhere near enough. The complexity of retirement and tax planning involved in turning a pot of money into a retirement income can’t be overstated.

Added to that people need to decide when and how to use money held in other assets such as ISAs, investments and property, alongside pension savings.

There are many persuasive reasons for people to not engage with their retirement, both practical and psychological.

Building up informed, appropriate retirement confidence will require co-operation, communication, and collaboration. Each and every participant in the retirement income sector has a role to play – and should feel obliged to play.

A key area highlighted within our research is the desire for pension savers to have trust in the long-term savings market and have a stable tax and policy environment. Pensions are a long-term investment, and over many years, under various different governments, there have been constant changes and tinkering to the pension tax rules which deter people from engaging with the pension system, and negatively affects their confidence.

To make meaningful positive change, our research highlights we need more people who save more into their pension, to understand why they are saving and what for, and are empowered to save in an environment of trust and stability.

It’s for this reason that we believe the creation of an independent long-term savings commission is needed. The aim for this non-departmental public body would be to review the regime for UK pensions and long-term savings and make recommendations accordingly. Its existence should make it easier to gain cross-party support for proposed changes and engender more stable pensions and long-term savings policy. And ultimately give more confidence in retirement.

I’m more than happy to meet and discuss our research and thoughts in more detail, along with our CEO, Richard Rowney. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Tully
Technical Services Director
 

ENDS
 

Enquiries:

Linda Harper 
Nucleus Financial Platforms group

T: 07876 145309
 

Notes to editors:

The Nucleus Financial Platforms group offers investment platforms and products exclusively to financial advisers, that ultimately help make retirement more rewarding.
Renowned for its SIPP expertise, James Hay Partnership has been working with larger financial advisory groups for more than 40 years, providing the means to administer pensions, savings and investments in a cost and tax efficient way.
Our award-winning platform Nucleus was founded in 2006 by advisers committed to altering the balance of power in the industry by putting the customer centre stage.
Curtis Banks is one of the UK’s largest administrators of SIPP and SSAS solutions for customers and businesses. It is one of Europe’s largest commercial property landlords, a specialist area for self invested pensions. The business maintains a focus on providing high levels of technical support, robust service, modern technology and innovation.
Together we’re one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform and product groups, with approximately £89 billion in assets under administration, helping nearly 5,500 advisers make retirement more rewarding for almost 235,000 customers.
To find out more visit: www.nucleusfinancial.com 

 
Nucleus calls for independent long-term savings commission

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Our communications team is supported by The Lang Cat and TB Cardew.

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