City big hitter takes the chair at NW financial and professional services firm

Christopher Mills

Salford-based Frenkel Topping has appointed City big hitter Christopher Mills as its new non-executive chairman.

He joined the company, a specialist financial and professional services firm operating within the personal injury and clinical negligence marketplace, as a non-executive director on May 20, 2020, and is a major shareholder in the business.

Currently, 29.96% of Frenkel Topping ordinary shares are held by North Atlantic Smaller Companies Investment Trust, a company of which Mr Mills is both a shareholder and director.

He is able to devote more time to the new role having recently stepped down from his position as a non-executive director with a number of company boards, following several exits by Harwood Capital Management.

Mr Mills founded Harwood Capital Management in 2011, a successor to its former parent company, JO Hambro Capital Management, which he co-founded in 1993 and of which he was formerly the chief investment officer.

He is currently the chief executive and investment manager of North Atlantic Smaller Companies Investment Trust, a UK-listed investment trust, and a non executive director of several companies including AssetCo, MJ Gleeson and Oryx International Growth Fund Limited.

Former Frenkel Topping chairman, Tim Linacre, will remain on the board, taking up the position of senior independent non-executive director to support the business’s strategy going forward. Mr Linacre joined the board of Frenkel Topping in 2018 with more than 30 years’ experience in financial services as a stockbroker and an investment banker and more latterly in financial public relations.

Chief executive, Richard Fraser, said: “Christopher has a deep understanding of the business and our ambitions and brings a wealth of experience in financial services and public companies to support us in our next stage of growth. I believe his guidance in the role of chairman will be of great value to Frenkel Topping.

“I would also like to thank Tim for his contribution and dedication as chairman since 2020 and I am delighted he has agreed to remain on the board and I look forward to working with him as senior independent non-executive director in the future as we continue to grow the company.”

Last month, Frenkel Topping warned that volatile market conditions will impact revenues and earnings going ahead, but at the same time it also announced it had agreed a new debt facility worth £7.5m with high street lender Santander on standard commercial terms to support its growth and acquisition strategy.

A trading update for the financial year ended December 31, 2023, revealed that the company’s revenue had increased by 32%, driven by acquisition and organic growth

Assets Under Management (AUM) were up 12% to £1,335m (2022: £1,187m); Assets on a discretionary mandate were up 15% to £820m (2022: £715m); also, New Money Market Solution launched in June 2023 attracting investment of £39m; while the group’s acquisition strategy continues to deliver with non-recurring revenue up in excess of 50%.

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