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Wealth hire

Connellan exits Brooks Macdonald to join SLA

Head of wealth: Caroline Connellan

Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) has appointed Brooks Macdonald CEO Caroline Connellan as chief executive of personal wealth.

Ms Connellan, who had a previous spell with Standard Life, will report directly to group CEO Stephen Bird as a member of the executive leadership team and will be based in London.

She has led Brooks Macdonald since early 2017 and overseen strong year on year growth in funds under management, revenue and profit as well as executing key acquisitions and driving significant transformation to support the success of the business.

Prior to this, Ms Connellan held senior roles at HSBC, including head of UK premier and wealth, and has extensive consulting experience across the asset management and wealth sector with McKinsey.

Her earlier career included roles with Standard Life and as a private client fund manager with Newton Investment Management.

Stephen Bird SLA

Stephen Bird: rebuilding wealth offering

SLA’s personal wealth business includes 1825 Financial Planning and SLA’s direct-to-customer propositions including Digital Retirement Advice. 

Julie Scott, who led 1825 for three years, left in February to join Royal London.

Ms Connellan’s appointment comes at a key juncture as SLA looks to significantly grow personal wealth under its controversial new brand Abrdn.

Mr Bird said Ms Connellan had “clear and proven ability in building exceptional wealth management businesses, both organically and via acquisition”.

He added: “Critically, she has a deep customer-centric mindset and extensive experience in creating compelling and innovative offerings.”

Ms Connellan added: “It’s an exciting time to be joining SLA, given its ambitions and commitment to the growing wealth market.  Stephen’s vision for the business is dynamic and bold, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to lead and shape the personal wealth business, building on its current quality offering. 

“There is an increasing need for individuals to save for the future, particularly for retirement, in a way that works for them.”

Brooks Macdonald has promoted deputy chief executive Andrew Shepherd to CEO.

Alan Carruthers, chairman of Brooks Macdonald, said Mr Shepherd’s “unrivalled experience and knowledge of the industry, and commitment to Brooks Macdonald, position him uniquely to lead the Group and build on its significant momentum.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Caroline for her leadership over the past four years.  She has been central to the transformation of the business, guiding it through a period of change, leaving it in a position of strength and primed for further growth.”



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