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Kingswood Holdings updates on strategy as CEO departs

The wealth management firm said Marianne Ismail would leave the group with immediate effect, with executive deputy chairman Gary Wilder stepping into the role
Board room table
The group finance director, Patrick Goulding, would become CEO of the company’s operating subsidiaries

Kingswood Holdings Limited (LON:KWG) has issued an update on its strategy amid a board reshuffle as its chief executive (CEO), Marianne Ismail, departed after 18 months in the role.

The wealth management firm said Ismail would leave the group with immediate effect to pursue other interests, with executive deputy chairman Gary Wilder stepping into the role.

READ: Kingswood Holdings hires new finance director

The group finance director, Patrick Goulding, would also become CEO of the company’s operating subsidiaries and take responsibility for implementing and managing its strategy and performance.

Kingswood added that Graydon Butler, the group’s chief operating officer, would join in the coming weeks and work closely with Goulding.

Regarding strategy, the firm said it had recently approved a three-year growth plan, adding that macro market conditions and an ageing population provided “significant opportunity”.

A combination of investment and resource allocation across the wealth planning and investment management platforms would help drive success, the company said, with these integrated platforms providing “a competitive advantage”.

Kingswood added that it was continuing to pursue targeted acquisitions in the UK with an ambition to gain a foothold in the US market in the near future.

In the short term, the firm said it would focus on several critical products including its management and personalised portfolio services as well as implementing a simplified tariff structure and launching several new offerings.

Buzz West, chairman of Kingswood, said: "The Board is very grateful to Marianne for her contribution to the business over the last 18 months. We wish her well in her future endeavours.”

He added: "We are delighted that Gary, Patrick and Graydon have agreed to form the senior leadership team that will successfully execute our growth strategy. Their combined experience will be invaluable as we aim to grow both organically and dynamically by acquisition in the UK and US and deliver long-term shareholder value."

Broker says disruption risk “diminished” as restructuring nears end

In a note to clients, analysts at City broker finnCap said the risk of disruption to the business from Ismail’s departure was “diminished” by the fact that most of the firm’s restructuring had been completed.

“Due to the base from which Kingswood is starting, scale-up opportunities are higher than that of its peers and so growth opportunities are likely to be high, both in terms of revenues, profits and share price appreciation.”

The broker also retained its target price of 26p, saying that the new CEO Wilder replacing Ismail’s successes “brings a greater likelihood of achieving the company’s goal of being a global business built with UK acquisitions and overseas strategic partnerships”.

In late-morning trading Thursday, Kingswood shares were at 12.2p.

--Adds broker comment and share price--

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