Openwork appoints chief executive

Jessica Nangle

February 26, 2020

Openwork has appointed Philip Howell as chief executive subject to statutory approvals.

Philip Howell succeeds Mark Duckworth who has been at Openwork for 10 years, initially as commercial development director and for the past five years as chief executive.

He led Openwork through its transition to independence from Zurich Insurance Group in 2018 and turnaround in financial performance, delivering pre-tax profits of £22.6m in 2018.

Howell stepped down as chief executive of listed wealth manager, Rathbone Brothers in May 2019.

He is widely credited for leading the transformation of Rathbones to become the largest independent discretionary fund manager in the UK, growing funds under management from £22bn to £47.5bn during his five year tenure.

Howell brings extensive industry knowledge to Openwork having previously served as chief executive of Williams de Broe Wealth Management and chief executive of Fortis Private Banking.

Prior to these roles, Philip enjoyed a 24 year international banking career with the Barclays Plc group.

Christopher Rodrigues, group chairman at Openwork, said: “On behalf of the board and shareholders, I would like to place on record our gratitude to Mark for all he has done to develop the Openwork franchise; during his tenure the group’s financial performance has been transformed.

“With Openwork poised to take advantage of its achievements since its independence, we are very fortunate to have attracted someone of Philip’s experience to lead us into our next chapter and I welcome him to what we intend to be the start of a long-term relationship with the group.”

Duckworth added: “I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved together over the past 10 years for our clients, our business and our culture.

“I feel that it is now the right time to hand the baton over to a successor to drive the next phase of Openwork’s strategy and development as an independent, adviser-owned business.

“I would like to thank Openwork’s advisers, staff and the board for all of their support over the past 10 years and wish everyone continued success for the future.”

Howell said: “The market demand for financial advice continues to grow unabated.

“As a long established, now adviser-owned business and ranking amongst the top three financial services networks in the UK, Openwork is already very well positioned.

“I very much look forward to working with our partners and management team in realising the full potential of the business.”

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