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16 April 2024

Andrew Tully comments on the FCA retirement income market data

The FCA today released its retirement income data for 2022/23.

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Read our latest press releases

27 March 2024

Nucleus appoints Julia Peake to further strengthen its Technical Services team

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.

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9 February 2024

Nucleus enhances range of platform solutions with acquisition of Third Financial

Nucleus Financial Platforms has reached an agreement to acquire Third Financial, one of the fastest growing investment platform and software providers in the UK.

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31 January 2024

Nucleus announces removal of exit fees for Curtis Banks customers

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.

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News archive

  • Nucleus UK Retirement Confidence Index is 6.9 with a negative outlook
  • Findings show planning drives considerable influence on retirement confidence
  • 49% of people aged over 50 do not have a detailed retirement plan
  • Only 16% of UK adults are ‘totally confident’ they have enough money to retire in comfort

Nucleus Financial Platforms, one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform groups, today launches the UK Retirement Confidence Index.  

The comprehensive study, the first of its kind, involved surveying more than 2,200 UK adults aged 50 and over by YouGov. It’s based on responses to the central question of how confident those approaching or in retirement feel about having enough money to live on for the rest of their lives.

It reveals the confidence index is 6.9 out of 10, with a negative outlook.

Although this ‘score’ is higher than some might have predicted, there’s detail that indicates underlying sentiment points to challenges ahead for some groups of people who are less confident than others.

Planning significantly affects confidence. Just over half of respondents (51%) have a detailed plan for retirement. Only 20% have their plan in writing, but this doesn’t seem to affect confidence (8.1 vs 8.0).

Those without a detailed plan have the lowest confidence (4.6).  These results clearly indicate that planning is a key driver to people feeling positive about securing a rewarding retirement.  

But despite the power of planning, half of UK adults (49%) approaching retirement don’t have a detailed plan in place.

The negative outlook on the overall 6.9 index score reflects the rapid decline of defined benefit (DB) pension provision and inadequate defined contribution (DC) savings pots. It also speaks to more general concerns about the cost of living for 80% of respondents and inflation for 63%.

One of the most interesting findings in the report is that advice itself does not seem to have a material impact on the confidence of those people approaching or in retirement, though it is slightly higher for advised customers at 7.0 compared to a confidence score of 6.8 for those who have never taken advice.  

Experience also boosts confidence scores

The research also shows that people who have drawn on their pension savings report higher levels of retirement confidence than those who have not, regardless of whether they have taken advice.  Those who have received advice and accessed their savings score 7.2, compared to 6.6 for those who haven’t accessed their pension funds.  Non advised participants of the survey who’ve accessed their pension pots score a confidence rating of 7.3 compared to just 5.7 for those with pensions untouched.

This may be explained by the fact that retirees have experienced the immediate and tangible benefits of their savings or perhaps feel buoyed by a lump sum.  Although the concern here is that consumers’ decision making may be short term and to the detriment of quality of life in later years.

Two thirds of respondents’ report being ‘confident’ they will have enough to retire comfortably though just 16% are ‘totally confident’. This sentiment is largely attributed to an absence of debt. 

Risk appetite higher for advised consumers

When looking at investment risk attitudes, the overall tendency is for people to take a very low level when it comes to investing for retirement, with a mean score of 3.2 out of 10.  However, consumers who have had financial advice show the highest mean risk appetite at 3.9, indicating advised clients perhaps have a better or more informed attitude to risk.

Interestingly, the respondents with the highest retirement confidence score - those who have not received financial advice - have the lowest appetite for risk with a mean score of just 2.6.  The implication here is that people are missing out on potential growth opportunities in their portfolio – through not engaging with advice – which may impact the size of their pension pot. 

Richard Rowney, Chief Executive Officer at Nucleus, said: “Our purpose is to help make retirement more rewarding. To do that we need to understand how people at this stage of life feel and what influences their decisions.

“We firmly believe in the value of planning and advice, which is why we’ve invested in this study. We set out to learn more about how we can help people live fulfilling lives in retirement, and how we and others in the industry might address potential issues getting in the way.” 

Andrew Tully, Technical Services Director at Nucleus added: “Among the many interesting findings, the stand-out piece of data for me is that advice itself does not necessarily lead to more confidence, but planning absolutely does. What that tells me is that we should all perhaps be looking at the advice gap from a different angle.

“If we focus on taking actions that lead people to engaging with the planning process, advice, and implementation of products, if required, will naturally follow. That for me is a new way of looking at the problem of engagement.”

He added: “We’re pleased to see people saying they are more confident than we anticipated though we need to urge caution here, for two reasons. The first is that confidence does not necessarily equate to people making the best decisions when it comes to pension planning. So, we would always encourage people to seek out professional help if they can.

“And the second reason for caution is that we believe retirement confidence is very likely to reduce over time due to dwindling numbers of defined Benefit arrangements and an increase in reliance on inadequately funded Defined Contribution plans. Auto-enrolment has been a huge success in getting many more people to save for their retirement. But we can’t stop there, the next challenge is to get more people saving more.”

2023 UK Retirement Index: 14 things the sector should do

Platforms and other providers:

  • Make the pensions dashboard work: the quality of data is key to empowering customers to act and make informed choices.
  • Free movement of pension funds: yes, we need checks and protection from foreseeable harms, but they should be proportionate to the likely level of risk.
  • Better consumer communication: clear, concise, and standardised plan information that anyone can understand, with easier access to information. There may also be some who recognise a need to act but simply don’t know how to. One solution is to make the steps towards guidance and advice much clearer.
  • Championing financial advice: commit to seeing through necessary service and technology developments, easing the advice process, and making professionals’ lives simpler. The benefits of planning and advice can be life changing – but these must be promoted if they are to help shift the dial on advice take-up.

Advisers:

  • Clear communication of services and costs: with so many variants of financial advice services, consumers cannot be expected to know the difference.
  • Embrace planning: it’s clearly vital to retirement confidence for consumers and holistic planning isn’t always part of the financial advice process. It needs to be.

Regulators:

  • Highlight the benefits of regulated advice: and the dangers of not seeking it.
  • Prioritising the real risks: more focus on the immediate dangers and bad players, with more effective use of resources. Don’t let the desire for a perfect outcome get in the way of a good customer outcome.
  • Target social media: tough regulation, targeting the ‘finfluencers’ with heavy penalties.

Government:

  • Make a plan to increase pension saving: most experts accept an 8% auto-enrolment contribution isn’t sufficient. We should aim for contributions to start gradually increasing before 2027, fifteen years after the introduction of auto enrolment.
  • Make the pensions dashboard happen: make it soon and make it effective. This will simplify and speed up the process of finding and consolidating pension funds. The same point stands for a solution to the small pots problem.
  • Clear, effective, and accessible communication and education: about the need for retirement planning and the risks of not doing so.
  • Funding and promoting financial education in schools: We need to normalise saving into a pension from as early an age as possible.
  • Stop the pension legislation merry-go-round: pensions are a long-term arrangement, and the legislative process should reflect that. Setting up an ongoing Independent Pensions Commission to develop long-term proposals for pensions and savings policy would bring much-needed consistency.

You can download a PDF of the press release here

Enquiries:

Nucleus

Linda Harper
Head of Public Relations
T:  +44 (0) 7876 145309

The lang cat

Mark Locke
Communications director
T: +44 (0) 7718 424711

About the research

The consumer research was carried out online by YouGov between 10 and 16 August 2023. The sample consisted of 2,208 UK adults aged 50 and over and who have pension pots or pension entitlements other than the State Pension.

The questionnaire covered a range of factors which play varying roles in driving retirement confidence up or down. These include type(s) of pension saved into, whether respondents have accessed their pension(s), whether they’ve taken advice, whether they’ve a plan for retirement, other assets available age gender employment status.

The lang cat, an insight, research and communications agency, specialising in financial services carried out the adviser and planner research interviews. They questioned advice professionals drawn from both their own adviser panel and the Nucleus Advisory Board.

The lang cat’s panel consists of more than 1,300 advice professionals representing a cross-section of firms and role types. The Nucleus Advisory Board plays a crucial role in planning and decision making across the business. Questions were structured around some key data findings to capture reactions, opinions and insight.

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 6,000 advisers make retirement more rewarding for almost 250,000 customers.
To find out more visit: www.nucleusfinancial.com 

Nucleus UK Retirement Confidence Index

Nucleus Financial Platforms, one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform groups, explains the impact of today’s inflation figures on triple lock calculations for state pensions from April 2024 and calls for a sensible discussion around the future of the triple lock and the state pension system as a whole.

What was announced this morning

  • CPI Inflation for the year to September 2023 was 6.7%, the same rate as August (Consumer price inflation, UK - Office for National Statistics). This means prices are rising at the same fairly high rate as the previous month, well above the Bank of England’s 2% target 
  • September’s inflation figure is particularly important as it drives increases to many state benefits, increases in many pensions in payment from public sector pension schemes, and is part of the triple lock calculation for state pensions 
  • The triple lock means state pensions increase by the highest of inflation, earnings and 2.5%

This year the highest of those three is the 8.5% increase in earnings in July (this is higher than the CPI inflation of 6.7% to September and the fixed 2.5%). However there are suggestions the Government may use a lower figure of 7.8% as this is earnings growth excluding bonuses. The total increase in earnings is affected by one-off payments made to the NHS and civil service in June and July 2023.

The potential new state pensions from April 2024

  • If the headline single tier state pension increased by 8.5%, from April 2024 it would be £221.20 a week, up from the current £203.85 a week
  • If it was increased by the lower 7.8% figure it would be £219.75 a week
  • The maximum basic state pension paid to those who reached state pension age before 6 April 2016 is currently £156.20 a week and it would increase to £169.50 s week (assuming 8.5% increase) or to £168.40 (at 7.8%)
  • While these are the headline rates many people receive less
  • An 8.5% increase in state pensions will cost around £7.6bn a year, whereas a 7.8% increase would cost approx. £7bn, so there is a significant saving if the Government use the lower earnings figure, excluding bonuses
  • The Government will make an announcement on State Pension uprating later this autumn confirming the final figures

Andrew Tully, Technical Services Director at Nucleus said: “The large increase in the state pension from April 2024 will be a welcome boost to the many people who are struggling given the current cost of living crisis. The last couple of years has taken its toll on finances, with many having to make difficult choices to make ends meet.

“Like many people we believe that the triple lock is not sustainable over the long term. We need a sensible discussion around the future of our state pension system as a whole.

“This includes what a reasonable state pension provision looks like and potential future increases to state pension age, as well as the future of the triple lock. The wider debate could also consider differing life expectancy across the UK, increasing private pension savings through auto-enrolment, and support for those below state pension age who aren’t able to work.

“A separate issue is there is a growing likelihood more pensioners will start paying income tax. The combination of large increases to state pensions over the last couple of years coupled with the freezing of most tax thresholds, mean the state pension will likely be around £11,500 a year, getting close to the personal allowance threshold of £12,570 where people start to pay income tax. The intention is the personal allowance will remain frozen until at least March 2028, which raises the possibility the headline state pension may overtake it at some point.”

The history of the triple lock

The triple lock was introduced from 6 April 2011 and means the basic state Pension and Single Tier State Pension increase by the highest of earnings, inflation (CPI) and 2.5%.

Since 2011/12, the state pension has been increased as shown in the table below. 

Tax year Rise in state pension Based on
2011/12 4.6% RPI(1)
2012/13 5.2% CPI
2013/14 2.5% Fixed 2.5%
2014/15 2.7% CPI
2015/16 2.5% Fixed 2.5%
2016/17 2.9% Earnings
2017/18 2.5% Fixed 2.5%
2018/19 3% CPI
2019/20 2.6% Earnings
2020/21 3.9% Earnings
2021/22 2.5% Fixed 2.5%
2022/23 3.1% CPI(2)
2023/24 10.1% CPI


(1) RPI inflation was the previous basis for State Pension indexation before the triple lock and the Government chose to use it in 2011/12
(2) Due to the impact of the Covid pandemic the Government chose to suspend the triple lock and use the higher of CPI and the fixed 2.5%


You can download a PDF of the press release here
 

Enquiries

Linda Harper 
Head of Public Relation

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 £80 billion in assets under administration, helping nearly 6,000 advisers make retirement more rewarding for almost 250,000 customers.
To find out more visit: www.nucleusfinancialplatforms.com 

 
Nucleus calls for sensible discussion around future state pension system

Nucleus Financial Platforms, one of the UK's leading, independent, adviser platform groups, is now offering with profits on its Nucleus Wrap platform in partnership with Wesleyan.

The Wesleyan With Profits Growth Fund - the first With Profits fund designed specifically to sit on independent adviser platforms - aims to be a long-term investment solution, investing in a range of asset classes to diversify risk. The fund has a proven track record of delivering healthy returns over the longer term and aims to achieve greater consistency of returns through its unique smoothing mechanism which reduces the impact of short-term price fluctuations.*

Advisers accessing the fund benefit from daily pricing, daily smoothing and daily trading, providing a transparency and flexibility not previously associated with With Profits funds.

Other features of the fund include:

  • Can be blended with existing investment proposition
  • No MVAs, unit price adjustments or maximum withdrawals
  • Life and pension funds available within ISA and JISA accounts
  • Pension fund available within the pension account
  • Comprises 75% real assets (65% equities / 10% property)
  • FE risk score currently 10/100

Paul Bagley Nucleus Distribution Director said: “We’re pleased to be partnering with Wesleyan to make this with profits fund available on our Nucleus Wrap platform, for both pensions and ISAs.

“Our ambition is to become the best retirement focused adviser platform.  As such, delivering the broadest range of investment solutions offers greater choice for advisers, helping them to deliver better outcomes for their clients and ultimately making their retirement more rewarding.

“We’re always listening to what advisers want and we know that demand to include with profit funds as part of centralised investment propositions is growing.”

Mario Mazzocchi, Wesleyan Group Chief Executive added:  “We’re delighted that Nucleus’s advisers and their clients now have access to a strong, actively managed smoothed fund. Smoothed returns offer a more consistent investment journey which is particularly attractive to investors in the current economic climate.

“As a financially strong mutual, we are able to maintain a high exposure to equities in the Fund delivering the potential for extremely competitive long-term performance.

“Wesleyan was the first provider to make a smoothed fund available via an independent platform because we recognised there was a long-standing gap in the market.
“This new partnership with Nucleus shows that we have created a flexible product that can easily be incorporated into a diversified portfolio on platform.”

You can download a PDF of the press release here
 

Enquiries

Linda Harper
Head of Public Relation
E: newsroom@nucleusfinancial.com

Nicola Pledger
PR Manager
E: press@wesleyan.co.uk
T: +44 (0)7384 795544


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.nucleusfinancialplatforms.com 

Wesleyan
Wesleyan is a UK-based financial services mutual offering a range of personal, professional, commercial and investments products through the Wesleyan Group of companies.
The Wesleyan Group has £7.2 billion of assets under management as at 31 December 2022.
 
Wesleyan was founded in Birmingham in 1841.
Wesleyan’s Investments Team was named Investment Team of the Year 2023 at the Insurance Asset Risk Awards.
To find out more visit: www.wesleyan.co.uk/intermediaries
*Wesleyan With Profits Growth Pension Fund Series A Factsheet

Nucleus financial press release
  • Alex Kovach decides to step back at end of year
  • Mike Regan to be appointed group CCO from 1 January 2024
  • Peter Docherty to be Nucleus group CRO from 1 January 2024

Nucleus Financial Platforms, one of the UK’s largest adviser platform groups with £80 billion of assets under administration from 250,000 customers, is today setting out changes to its Executive Committee for 2024. The planned changes follow the announcement of the completion of the Curtis Banks acquisition on 26 September 2023.

Nucleus Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Alex Kovach signalled earlier this year that he intended to step down after helping navigate the successful completion of the Curtis Banks deal. Now the transaction is complete, it has been agreed that Alex will leave at the end of the year and will be replaced by Mike Regan, currently Nucleus Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Alex Kovach joined from Interactive Investor in 2020 and has helped spearhead the rapid growth of the business via the acquisition and integration of Nucleus Financial plc, growing sales through new client wins, and the repositioning of the combined group as a purpose-driven, brand-led, scale leader in the sector. He’s led its commercial team to focus on investing in the priorities of advisers, improving products, service and price, so they can help make their clients’ retirement more rewarding.

Mike Regan has been CFO of Nucleus since September 2022 and is an experienced board-level director. His career track record includes success in M&A, leading business transformation, understanding client needs and developing high performing commercial teams. Subject to regulatory approval, from 2024 this experience will help drive Nucleus’s next stage of growth as CCO. Mike remains CFO until the end of the current year, and the process to appoint a new CFO has already started.

Peter Docherty, currently Interim CEO at Curtis Banks will become the Nucleus group’s Chief Risk Officer (CRO) from 1 January 2024, subject to regulatory approval. In the meantime, Peter retains his Curtis Banks CEO role.

Peter has more than 20 years of experience in financial services. Since joining Curtis Banks in January this year, he led the team to successfully navigate the sale of the business to Nucleus. He was previously CEO and Managing Director of Embark Platform, and before that, CEO and CRO of Alliance Trust Savings.

Richard Rowney, Chief Executive Officer of Nucleus, said: “The completion of the Curtis Banks acquisition is an important milestone in our corporate journey, and accordingly the right time to look to the future and plan ahead. On behalf of the Board and everyone who works in our group, I’d like to recognise Alex’s huge contribution towards the growth and transformation of the business, and thank him for everything he’s helped us achieve. I also thank him personally for his dedication and the support he’s given me personally, and I wish him well for the future.”

“This is an exciting time in our development into a scale leader in this sector, and I’m pleased to be able to appoint Mike and Peter into these important roles as we continue to build the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform group.

“Both have proved themselves to be exceptional leaders, with the intellect, skills and experience we need to offer advisers the platform and support that will help deliver great outcomes for their clients.”

Alex Kovach, Chief Commercial Officer added: “With the acquisition of Curtis Banks complete, and after three and a half excellent years with the business, I’m following through on my intention to now move on. I look forward to handing over the commercial baton to Mike so he can help lead the business through its next phase of growth.

“I’ve hugely enjoyed my time with Nucleus and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved, most significantly building a fantastic commercial team. My roles at both ii and Nucleus have been characterised by rapid growth and transformation, and I’m now looking to take some time out before starting the next chapter.”

You can download a PDF of the press release here 


Enquiries: 

Tom Allison
TB Cardew
T: 0778 9998020

Linda Harper
Head of Public Relations
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.nucleusfinancialplatforms.com  

 
Nucleus financial press release

Nucleus Financial Platforms, one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform groups, has appointed Andrew Tully as Technical Services Director.

Andrew is a well-known and highly respected pensions expert and industry commentator, with a career spanning almost 35 years working in high profile roles across the sector.

He was most recently Technical Director at Canada Life and prior to this was Pensions Technical Director at MGM Advantage. He has also held senior roles with a number of other leading pension providers including Standard Life and Aegon.

Andrew will be responsible for the analysis and interpretation of regulation, legislation and taxation issues, leading Nucleus’s experts that work with advisers. The team create white papers, run masterclasses, and generally help advisers to resolve technical issues and challenges so they can deliver better outcomes for their customers, and ultimately help them have a more rewarding retirement.

He'll also have a particular focus on helping shape Nucleus’s retirement propositions, working with industry groups and lobbying regulators and Government. The role reports to Chris Williams, Nucleus’s Propositions Director.

Andrew will join Nucleus on 29 September and will take over the responsibilities of Neil MacGillivray, who is retiring as head of the technical support unit after a successful twenty five year career with James Hay and Nucleus. Neil leaves at the end of the year after a handover to Andrew.

Chris Williams, Proposition Director at Nucleus, said: “We welcome Andrew to Nucleus and are thrilled to have attracted a true industry heavy-hitter to our growing team. He has an impressive track record of championing the retirement causes of interest to advisers and their clients, and is one of the best known and most respected pensions names in the industry.

“He’ll also help us shape our retirement proposition, ensuring that our priorities are aligned with those of advisers and that we support them in every way we can to help their customers plan for retirement.”

Andrew Tully, Technical Services Director, said: “I’m delighted to be joining Nucleus at this exciting time in the platform’s evolution, as it cements its position as a scale player in the industry with a very clear purpose to help make retirement more rewarding.

“I’m looking forward to working with the team to play my part in helping to build the best retirement platform for advisers and their clients, and to improving understanding of pensions so that more people can look forward to a secure and rewarding future.”

You can download a PDF of the press release here 


Enquiries: 

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


Notes to editors:

About the Nucleus Financial Platforms group
The group offers investment platforms and products that help make retirement more rewarding. Our two platforms are run exclusively for financial advisers.
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.nucleusfinancialplatforms.com  

 
Nucleus appoints pensions expert Andrew Tully as Technical Services Director

Nucleus Financial Platforms (Nucleus), one of the UK’s leading independent adviser platforms, is pleased to announce that its acquisition of the Curtis Banks Group (Curtis Banks) has completed. 

Bringing together Nucleus and Curtis Banks creates a leading retirement focused adviser platform with approximately £80 billion of assets under administration, helping nearly 5,000 advisers make retirement more rewarding for almost 250,000 customers.

Richard Rowney, CEO of Nucleus, said: “We’re delighted that our acquisition of Curtis Banks is now complete. Today we welcome our new colleagues to the Nucleus Group and we’re excited to start work on bringing our businesses together.

“This is an important milestone for our business, creating one of the largest adviser platform groups in the UK with approximately £80 billion of assets under administration. It helps us to build on our position as a key player in the market, enabling us to continue to invest in the priorities of advisers, and deliver our purpose of helping make retirement more rewarding.”

Peter Docherty, Interim CEO of Curtis Banks, added: “Everyone at Curtis Banks is excited about the opportunities this transaction brings to advisers, their clients and personally for them. The completion means we can now harness the opportunities it brings and be able to offer advisers access to a broader suite of platform services, while continuing to offer both our on and off platform services, a larger customer support function and have the ability to invest in the business. 

“We’ll ensure the transition to being part of the Nucleus Group is a smooth one for advisers and their clients, with minimal disruption.”

For the immediate future both businesses will continue to operate independently and there will be no change for advisers or customers of either business.

You can download a PDF of the press release here 


Enquiries: 

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


TB Cardew (Financial PR advisers):

Tom Allison / Shan Shan Willenbrock
E: nucleus@tbcardew.com
T: +44 (0)7789 998020 / +44 (0)7775 848537


Notes to editors:

About the Nucleus Financial Platforms group
The group offers investment platforms and products that help make retirement more rewarding. Our two platforms are run exclusively for financial advisers.
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.nucleusfinancialplatforms.com

 
Nucleus completes acquisition of Curtis Banks

Nucleus’s Head of Technical Support Neil MacGillivray is retiring from his role with the platform group later this year, after a distinguished twenty five year stint with James Hay and Nucleus.

Neil joined James Hay in 1998 after 17 years with the Royal Bank of Scotland where he latterly worked in the bank’s Private Trust and Taxation Department. During his time with James Hay he has built the reputation of what is now the Nucleus’s Technical Support Unit as a go-to-provider of insight and commentary on all tax, trusts and pension issues.

Neil also served on the Committee of the Association of Member Directed Pension Schemes from 2010 to 2016, the last three years as Chair, representing the interests of the SSAS and SIPP product sector.

Alex Kovach, Chief Commercial Officer at Nucleus, said: “On behalf of everyone at Nucleus I would like to thank Neil for his contribution over a long and successful career with the group.

“His technical knowledge on pensions, tax and trusts is formidable and he is highly regarded by advisers providing insight and expertise to help them deliver better outcomes for their customers, and ultimately help make retirement more rewarding.

“He leaves with our very best wishes for a very long and happy retirement.”

Neil MacGillivray, Head of Technical Support at Nucleus, added: “After a twenty-five-year career working for James Hay and latterly Nucleus, and with the grand old age of sixty fast approaching, I have decided it is time to retire and focus on the next chapter of my life.

“There has been a lot of major changes in financial services over this time such as RDR, Pensions Simplification, Pensions Freedoms and of late Consumer Duty. It has been a privilege to have been able to deploy our insight to help advisers navigate these and understand the implications for them and their clients.”

External recruitment to replace Neil is currently underway.

You can download a PDF of the press release here 

Enquiries: 

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

Notes to editors:

About Nucleus
The Nucleus Financial Platform Group offers investment platforms that help make retirement more rewarding. Our two platforms are run exclusively for financial advisers, with over 160,000 UK customers.
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 acquired by James Hay in September 2021. It was founded in 2006 by advisers committed to altering the balance of power in the industry by putting the customer centre stage.
Nucleus is the name of the combined business and together it’s already one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform groups, with approximately £44 billion* in assets under administration.
To find out more visit: www.nucleusfinancialplatforms.com   


* Source: the lang cat Platform Market Scorecard Q2 2023

Nucleus’s Head of Technical Support Neil MacGillivray to retire

Nucleus Financial Platforms (Nucleus), one of the UK’s leading independent adviser platforms, is pleased to announce that its acquisition of the Curtis Banks Group (Curtis Banks) has received all necessary regulatory approvals.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), and Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have all issued their approvals, and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has concluded that the transaction does not qualify for investigation under UK merger control law.

Bringing together Nucleus and Curtis Banks will create a leading retirement-focused adviser platform with approximately £80 billion of assets under administration, helping nearly 5,000 advisers make retirement more rewarding for almost 250,000 customers.

The combination of Curtis Banks’ award-winning SIPP and SSAS product offering, and strong presence as a provider to customers with complex retirement needs along with Nucleus’ established reputation in the UK platform market will create a comprehensive proposition to support financial advisers and their customers across the full wealth spectrum.

In a market where scale is increasingly important, this transformational deal will enable further investments in technology, people, products, price and service for the benefit of advisers and their customers. For the immediate future both businesses will continue to operate independently and there will be no immediate change for advisers or clients of either business.

Peter Docherty, currently Interim CEO of Curtis Banks, will continue to lead the Curtis Banks business reporting to Richard Rowney, Group CEO of Nucleus. It is expected that in time, Curtis Banks will be rebranded as Nucleus.

Richard Rowney, CEO of Nucleus, said: “We are pleased to have now received regulatory approval, and look forward to completing this transformational deal in the coming weeks. We’ll then start working closely with our new colleagues at Curtis Banks to bring together our businesses and provide a best-in-class service to the advisers we serve.

“We’re creating one of the largest adviser platform groups in the UK with assets under administration of c.£80bn. Curtis Banks will be an important part of our group, bringing award-winning SIPP and SSAS offerings, which will help us in our purpose of helping make retirement more rewarding.”

Peter Docherty, Interim CEO of Curtis Banks, said: “Receiving regulatory approval is a key milestone in the acquisition process. Once the transaction completes we can start to bring our businesses together in a considered, mindful and practical way, ensuring we have the best combination of technologies, operations and structure that can deliver the group’s strategy.”

The acquisition was approved by Curtis Banks shareholders in February and remains subject to a court sanction hearing. It is expected to complete in the coming weeks.

You can download a PDF of the press release here
 

Enquiries:
 

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

TB Cardew (Financial PR advisers): 
Tom Allison / Shan Shan Willenbrock
E: nucleus@tbcardew.com
T: +44 (0)7789 998020 / +44 (0)7775 848537

Notes to editors:

About Nucleus
The Nucleus Financial Platform Group offers investment platforms that help make retirement more rewarding. Our two platforms are run exclusively for financial advisers, with over 160,000 UK customers.
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 acquired by James Hay in September 2021. It was founded in 2006 by advisers committed to altering the balance of power in the industry by putting the customer centre stage.
Nucleus is the name of the combined business and together it’s already one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform groups, with approximately £44 billion* in assets under administration.
To find out more visit: www.nucleusfinancialplatforms.com   
 
About Curtis Banks
Curtis Banks administers self-invested pension products, principally SIPPs and SSASs. The Group commenced trading in 2009 and has successfully developed, through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions, into one of the largest UK providers of these products.


* Source: the lang cat Platform Market Scorecard Q2 2023

Nucleus acquisition of Curtis Banks

Nucleus Foundation has partnered with the Verve Foundation to fund and support an initial cohort of 10 women to join the We Are Change programme.

The programme is designed to provide training and qualifications support to those looking to start a career in financial advice.

The grant from the Nucleus Foundation will allow the Verve Foundation to launch a programme targeted specifically at women for the first time.

The support from the Nucleus Foundation will provide the entire cohort of women with the funding required to achieve their Level 4 CII Diploma in regulated financial planning.

The Nucleus Foundation was launched at the start of the year with £750k of initial funding. One of its key areas of focus is to encourage more women into financial advice careers working alongside organisations who are committed to increasing diversity within the sector.

Despite positive steps forward in recent years, the financial advice industry continues to see a stark difference in the number of women entering the profession. According to the most recent data from the FCA only 16% of regulated financial advisers in the UK are women. That’s why this initiative is so important as it is will help attract and train more women to consider a career in financial advice which ultimately will help increase access to qualified female financial advisers.

Richard Rowney, CEO of Nucleus and Nucleus Foundation Trustee, said: “We’re proud that the Foundation’s first major investment is centred on encouraging more women to become advisers. We greatly respect the work of the Verve Foundation and are pleased to be able to partner with them to play our part in tackling the diversity gap in the advice sector.

“This is one of the first grants the Nucleus Foundation has made and it clearly demonstrates the positive contribution and impact we want to make. I can’t think of a better way of using our resources to bring about this much needed change, and help train the next generation of financial advisers.”

Hayley Rabbets, Head of the Verve Foundation, said: “We’re delighted to have the support from the Nucleus Foundation to launch an exclusive We Are Change cohort specifically designed to help support more women into the industry.

“Anything the sector can do to break down barriers and make the industry a more diverse, inclusive and welcoming place to be is to be celebrated. So, to have the support of the Nucleus Foundation, whose aims and values so closely align with our own, is really exciting.”

For more information on the We Are Change programme and the application process please go to the Verve Foundation website.

You can download a PDF of the press release here
 

Enquiries:
 

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

Notes to editors:

About Nucleus
The Nucleus Financial Platform Group offers investment platforms that help make retirement more rewarding. Our two platforms are run exclusively for financial advisers, with over 160,000 UK customers.
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 acquired by James Hay in September 2021. It was founded in 2006 by advisers committed to altering the balance of power in the industry by putting the customer centre stage.
Nucleus is the name of the combined business and together it’s already one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform groups, with approximately £44 billion* in assets under administration.
To find out more visit: www.nucleusfinancialplatforms.com   
 
The Verve Foundation: We Are Change
Originally launched in 2021 to help those who became unemployed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Verve Foundation’s We Are Change initiative continues to attract people from outside the industry, supporting them throughout their journey into a range of roles.
The initiative works by attracting those who would love a career in finance but who would otherwise struggle to get a foot through the door. It then sets them away with fully funded qualifications, to enhance their appeal to prospective employers, and also provides practical skills and training, to help them identify the financial services segment that is best matched to them.
Success for us is helping them secure a role, anywhere in finance, as this means more talent, more ideas and more interest in an industry that has hitherto struggled to attract the attention we believe it deserves.


* Source: the lang cat Platform Market Scorecard Q2 2023

We Are Change

Nucleus Financial Platforms, one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform groups, has significantly revamped its cash panel on the James Hay platform in partnership with Bondsmith.

This new service goes live on 26 July and provides access to an increased range of competitive fixed term deposit and notice accounts from a wider selection of banks with more banks expected to be added in the coming months.

Terms from six months to five years are available and there’s also a reduced minimum deposit of between £1k and £10k depending on the bank (reduced from £25k).

There are currently 26 different account options up from the three that were previously available, providing greater flexibility and enabling more customers to take advantage of the higher interest rates on offer.

Chris Williams, Proposition Director at Nucleus, said: “Our James Hay platform pays an attractive rate of interest on the transactional cash that customers have in their products. But at a time of uncertain markets, high inflation and an increasing Bank of England base rate, some are looking to lock their cash away for longer periods of time in exchange for higher investment-style returns.

“This is exactly what we’re providing with our enhanced cash panel with Bondsmith. We’re giving advisers the ability to recommend these new products to their customers, offering leading returns on cash from a wide selection of banks to make their cash work harder.

“As we build scale, we continue to invest in the priorities of advisers to help them deliver better outcomes for their clients and ultimately help to make their retirement more rewarding.”

Tom Higham, Managing Director of Savings at Bondsmith, added: “We are delighted to be working with Nucleus to enable advisers using the James Hay platform to help customers maximise the interest they can earn on their cash. Through Bondsmith, customers are able to access an increasingly wide range of savings accounts from UK banks.

“And with interest rates on savings products at their highest level for over a decade, we’re proud to be able to help more clients improve the returns on their cash in this environment."

You can download a PDF of the press release here
 

Enquiries:
 

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

Notes to editors:

About Nucleus
The Nucleus Financial Platform Group offers investment platforms that help make retirement more rewarding. Our two platforms are run exclusively for financial advisers, with over 160,000 UK customers.
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 acquired by James Hay in September 2021. It was founded in 2006 by advisers committed to altering the balance of power in the industry by putting the customer centre stage.
Nucleus is the name of the combined business and together it’s already one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform groups, with approximately £44 billion* in assets under administration.
To find out more visit: www.nucleusfinancialplatforms.com   
About Bondsmith
Bondsmith is an FCA regulated financial technology company that empowers clients to make the most of their cash by delivering innovate savings solutions.


* Source: the lang cat Platform Market Scorecard Q1 2023

Making cash work harder

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When it comes to contacting us for commentary and press information, please get in touch with our communications team. 

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

Linda Harper - Head of Public Relations and Sponsorships

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