• Harriet Griffin joins as Chief Operating Officer from Charles Stanley
• Richard Bernstein joins from Close Brothers Asset Management as Chief Risk Officer leading an expanded risk and compliance function
• Kirsten Owbridge assumes a new role of Managing Director – Group HR
• Kingswood’s key focus for 2020 is seeking accretive opportunities in the UK IFA market and expanding the US business
• The firm currently has a number of significant transactions under exclusive due diligence
Kingswood Holdings Limited (AIM: KWG), the ambitious integrated international wealth management company, today announces that it has made three senior non-Board appointments to further bolster its team. Harriet Griffin joins as Chief Operating Officer, Richard Bernstein as Chief Risk Officer to lead an integrated risk and compliance function across the group and Kirsten Owbridge as Managing Director – Group HR, a new role with responsibility for Kingswood’s people development strategy.
Backed by the up to £80 million irredeemable, convertible preference share capital committed by funds managed by Pollen Street Capital (“Pollen Street”) last year, in addition to managing its existing businesses Kingswood’s key focus for 2020 is seeking accretive opportunities in the UK IFA market and expanding its US business.
Kingswood currently has a number of significant transactions under exclusive due diligence in the UK and on the basis these are closed successfully in the coming months, the firm will have in excess of 200 employees across more than 20 offices in the UK and US.
Harriet Griffin joins Kingswood as Chief Operating Officer from Charles Stanley where she held the same role of COO of their Private Client Investment Management business and brings considerable experience in investment operations management, process and control. Harriet is a graduate of the University of Bath and a Chartered Member of the CISI. She recently completed her MBA at Cranfield University.
Harriet had been with Charles Stanley since 2012 holding positions that included Operations & Business Development Manager and Learning & Development Manager. Prior to Charles Stanley, she was Senior Client Relationship Manager at the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.
Richard Bernstein joins as Chief Risk Officer with over 17 years’ experience in Compliance and Risk. He was previously Head of Risk and Central Compliance at Close Brothers Asset Management. Prior to that, he was Head of Operational Risk at F&C Asset Management (now BMO Asset Management) and Operational Risk Manager at Barclays Private Clients. Richard is a graduate of the University of Nottingham and is also a CFA charter-holder and a Chartered Fellow of the CISI.
Kirsten Owbridge, a Chartered Member of the CIPD, assumes a new role of Managing Director – Group HR, responsible for aligning Kingswood’s organisational structure and resources with business objectives. Kirsten will also be responsible for co-ordination of change management, leadership development, Kingswood’s talent and performance approach, and compensation strategies. Kirsten joins from St James’s Place Wealth Management where she was Senior HR Business Partner. Prior to that, she was Director of HR at Sonnedix Group, based in Tokyo and London. Throughout her career, she has held HR roles at a number of financial services institutions including Royal Bank of Scotland, Mindshare Worldwide, Environmental Resources Management (ERM), Lloyds Banking Group and O2 UK.
Patrick Goulding, Platform CEO & Group CFO at Kingswood, said: “Our employees are our greatest asset and we are committed to ensuring we invest in, motivate and incentivise talented people to grow and develop their careers at Kingswood. As these hires highlight, we continue to attract high quality, talented people to our team and strive to ensure Kingswood is recognised as an employer of choice in global wealth management.”
These appointments follow the addition at the end of last year of Pollen Street’s Lindsey McMurray and Howard Garland to the Kingswood Board in addition to Paul Surguy joining as Head of Investment Management.
Gary Wilder, Group CEO concludes: “2019 was a milestone year for Kingswood as the growth capital from Pollen Street allowed the firm to capitalise on the consolidation opportunities available in the global wealth management market. We are building a very strong and experienced management team in the UK and US to take advantage of the opportunities in both markets. We have already seen a strong start to the year, and with several imminent acquisitions in the UK, expect the business to grow substantially.”