Andy Smart named as Openwork chair

Openwork Holdings Limited (OHL), the parent company of financial advice and investment network Openwork, has appointed Andy Smart (pictured) as chair as Christopher Rodrigues steps down.

Rodrigues is stepping down after six years as chair during which Openwork recorded continuous growth and became an independent company following the divestment of Zurich Insurance Group’s shareholding.

He will continue as a corporate adviser until the end of 2020.

Smart knows the business well as he was part of the Zurich Global Life team that created Openwork in 2005. He is currently chair of Openwork Limited (OHL’s main regulated subsidiary) and heads OHL’s Risk and Compliance Committee.

The appointment of the new chair continues the reshaping of Openwork’s leadership team, headed by Philip Howell as chief executive, to launch the next phase of its strategy and development as an independent, adviser-owned business.

As part of its long-term planning the board and shareholder council intend to appoint Philip Howell as Executive Chair of OHL once the strategic direction is well progressed in its implementation.

Andy Wilmot, chair of the Openwork shareholder council said: “The appointment of Andy Smart as chair underlines the continuity at Openwork and establishes a strong leadership team as we build for the continued development of the business.

“Christopher Rodrigues has played a significant role in the expansion of Openwork which included the move to become independent and owned by partners and staff.

“He leaves us in an excellent position for further growth.”

Smart added: “The transformation of Openwork into one of the UK’s biggest and longest-established networks has been a major achievement for everyone involved with the business and I look forward to working with the Board and Executive team to continue the success story.”

Philip Howell, chief executive of Openwork, added: “I look forward to working closely with Andy, drawing upon his deep knowledge of the business as we enter an exciting new chapter for Openwork.

“On behalf of colleagues across the Openwork family, I would like to thank Christopher for his outstanding service and in particular the advice and guidance he has given me over the last few months.”

Openwork Limited has over 3,900 financial advisers operating across the UK. It operates as a directly authorised, multi-panel distribution network.

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