Aon launches the Aon MasterTrust to meet demand

11 November 2015 Consultancy.uk

Aon has launched ‘Aon MasterTrust’ for occupational trust-based pension schemes of more than £20 million, on the expectation of an increase in demand for master trusts. The scheme will have an oversight board of three independent experts.

In response to a foreseen increase in demand for master trusts in the coming five years, almost 10% of the UK’s defined contribution (DC) pension schemes are expected to convert, Aon has launched ‘Aon MasterTrust’. The offering is targeted at occupational trust-based pension schemes. It provides potential clients with expertise in dealing with increasing regulatory compliance requirements and members with a competitive drawdown solution that is managed professionally. Initially, schemes must have a minimum size of £20 million.

According to the consulting firm, the offering will complete its available services to the UK’s DC market. The Aon MasterTrust will provide schemes with a consolidated governance model to reduce costs and risk. Key features of the MasterTrust include investment options backed by global DC investment expertise; a wide range of improvements to members’ engagement with the scheme and customer services; the ability to consolidate legacy assets; and a fully automated auto-enrolment solution.

Aon launches the Aon MasterTrust to meet demand

Independent board
As part of the firm’s commitment to providing independent oversight of the operation of the Aon MasterTrust in line with achieving the best outcomes for its participants, the firm has created a board of trustees independent from Aon. Oversight will be provided by a three person strong team of experts, including Chairman Roger Mattingly of Pan Trustees, Nicki Mortimer of Capital Cranfield and Kim Nash of PTL. “We wanted The Aon MasterTrust trustee board to be composed of high calibre independent professionals, so we are very pleased that Roger Mattingly, Nicki Mortimer and Kim Nash have agreed to take on the roles,” comments Sangita Chawla-Jopling, Head of DC Product at Aon. “I am confident that they will provide the knowledge and the independent approach that will challenge us to provide the best possible service.”

Sophia Singleton, Partner and Head of DC Consulting at Aon Hewitt, says about the launch of the new offering: “Running a pension scheme is not getting any easier – in fact, it’s getting increasingly onerous, complex and costly. With the launch of The Aon MasterTrust we have aimed to deliver a solution which offers employers the best of both worlds – a trust-based approach which is outsourced to experts. By launching Aon MasterTrust we are also completing Aon’s range of DC services – advisory, investment only, bundled services, contract-based and now a master trust.”

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RSM sells controversial UK wealth manager out of administration

26 March 2019 Consultancy.uk

RSM has overseen the sale of UK financial advisory firm Mount Sterling Wealth out of administration. The company had fallen into insolvency earlier in March, but has been purchased by Quilter Private Client Advisers for an undisclosed fee.

Mount Sterling Wealth is a York-based financial advisory firm, offering financial planning and wealth management services to clients from offices in Mayfair and North Yorkshire. Founded in 2010, the firm has endured an acrimonious relationship with the UK’s businesses community, having been formed by Scott Robinson to move his clients from an old firm, after being sued for advising on investments which failed and were not covered by professional indemnity insurance.

Robinson was allowed to continue working as a financial adviser by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), despite being ruled against in court and avoiding further legal action after liquidating his company. The controversial decision of the regulator caused Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake to state the FCA needed "to take a long, hard look at itself" for allowing Robinson to continue trading.

RSM sells controversial UK wealth manager out of administration

That comment was prompted by the case of Hollinkrake’s Thirsk and Malton constituent, Andy Mohun-Smith, who according to the Yorkshire Post, lost £2 million after trusting Robinson (one of Mount Sterling Wealth’s two Directors alongside David McLaughlin). Mohun-Smith also claimed the saga had a “devastating” impact on his life and health, with the stress involved “undoubtedly a major factor” in the break-up of his marriage.

As a result of the chequered history of one of its Directors, there was little sympathy expressed for Robinson’s firm when it fell into administration in March 2019. Mount Sterling Wealth was placed into administration following historic financing issues, appointing Jamie Miller and Gareth Harris of RSM as joint administrators to oversee the sale of its assets. The York-based firm had around £100 million in assets under administration.

Mount Sterling Wealth has since been sold out of administration, in a deal that preserves both jobs and the continuity of service for its clients. The financial planning and wealth management practice was sold to Quilter Private Client Advisers for an undisclosed fee.

Jamie Miller, RSM restructuring advisory partner and joint administrator, said: "I’m pleased to confirm that the deal preserves all jobs, ensures continuity of service for the company’s large portfolio of private clients and business owners and should result in significant returns for both secured and unsecured creditors which is an excellent result in the circumstances."

Commenting on the acquisition, Dominic Rose, Strategy and Acquisitions Director at Quilter PCA, said, “Mount Sterling Wealth was placed into administration following some historic financing issues. RSM was appointed joint administrators and the business was then sold to Quilter Private Client Advisers. Mount Sterling Wealth’s portfolio of clients will now be serviced by Quilter PCA’s by London, Chester and Shipley offices ensuring continuity of service. In addition, one adviser will join Quilter PCA.”