Wealth manager to appoint new chief financial officer

St James's Place

Wealth management firm St James’s Place has announced the appointment of a new chief financial officer.

Caroline Waddington has been appointed to the role at the Cirencester firm following an extensive and robust selection process and is subject to receiving the necessary regulatory approvals.

St James’s  has been through a difficult few years after it was accused of overcharging its customers with excessive fees.

The company reviewed its fee structure after it was subjected to an investigation by the financial authorities and was also forced to make a one off provision of £426m to compensate clients who had been miss-sold services.

The company currently manages £168.2bn on behalf of 958,000 clients.

St James’s Place has said Caroline will succeed Craig Gentle, who will be retiring from the business.

She will join SJP in the second half of the year, at which point Craig will step down as a director of the company but remain with the business for a short period to facilitate an orderly handover.

Craig has been with SJP since 2016, serving as its chief financial officer since  January 2018.

Caroline joins from UBS where she was chief financial officer for the group’s UK Credit Suisse entities, as well as chief operating officer for Credit Suisse International.

Before that, Caroline was chief financial officer for UK and EMEA at Credit Suisse, and before that held senior finance roles at Barclays Capital, RBS and Deutsche Bank.

A chartered accountant, Caroline began her career at Coopers & Lybrand.

Paul Manduca, chair of St. James’s Place, said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Caroline Waddington as SJP’s next chief financial officer. Caroline is highly experienced and has proven financial services expertise that she has developed in her career to-date. The Board conducted an extensive and robust selection process in making this appointment and I am confident that she will prove to be a great asset to the business.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Craig for his contribution to the group since his joining in 2016, particularly his careful stewardship of the group’s finances since becoming chief financial officer in 2018. We would like to wish Craig the best for the future.”

Chief executive Mark FitzPatrick said: “It has been a pleasure to work alongside Craig since I joined the business, and I am grateful for his support. At the same time, I look forward to working with Caroline as Craig’s successor as we look to the future with confidence.”

Craig Gentle said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the last eight years at SJP, and I look forward to seeing it thrive in the future as the clear market leader in such an important sector of UK financial services.”

Caroline Waddington said: “I am delighted to be joining SJP as chief financial officer. As a strong believer in the transformative power of financial advice, I’m excited to be joining the UK’s leading financial advice business and contributing to its future success.”