CORRECT: Hargreaves Lansdown CEO to step down after six years

(Correcting figures for total assets under administration.) (Alliance News) - Hargreaves ...

Alliance News 17 October, 2022 | 11:44AM
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(Correcting figures for total assets under administration.)

(Alliance News) - Hargreaves Lansdown PLC on Monday said its Chief Executive Officer Chris Hill has decided to retire from the company after serving for six years as chief executive officer & executive director.

The FTSE 100-listed retail investment platform said it is undertaking a "thorough and extensive search for his successor." Hill will remain in his role until his successor joins and to allow time for a handover up to November 2023.

Chair Deanna Oppenheimer said: "Chris has successfully led the company through a period of significant change. He is leaving HL as a stronger company, with a clearly defined strategy that the board fully supports.

"Having started the implementation of the next phase of the company's growth, Chris has decided it is time to pass the reins to a new CEO to continue to execute on this strategy and build on our market leading proposition," she continued.

Hill was appointed chief executive officer in April 2017 having joined in February 2016 as chief financial officer. Hill has delivered "significant growth in assets under administration and client numbers", the company noted.

The company also issued a trading update for the first quarter, ending September 30, raising its 2023 financial year revenue margin guidance to between 49 and 52 basis points. Previously, it was between 44 and 47 bps.

Hargreaves Lansdown reported net new business of GBP700 million and closing assets under administration of GBP122.7 billion, down from GBP123.8 billion on June 30. The decline of GBP1.1 billion in AuA included negative market movements of GBP1.8 billion over the quarter. Hargreaves said negative performance in September offset positive movement in July.

Revenue rose 15% to GBP162.9 million from GBP142.2 million in the same period last year

In the period, the company recorded net new client growth of 17,000, slowing slightly from 23,000 a year earlier, bringing the total number of active clients to 1.7 million. Client retention rate was 92%.

The company said it remains "focused on cost control and investment discipline" as it deals with an uncertain economic environment.

Chief Executive Officer Hill said: "The impact of the challenging macroeconomic and geopolitical backdrop on asset values, client confidence and propensity to invest has been seen across our industry.

"Against this backdrop we have delivered GBP0.7 billion of net new business and welcomed a further 17,000 net new clients in the quarter, reflecting both the diversified nature of our platform and also the trust clients place in us."

Last Friday, the company was hit by a lawsuit from RGL Management Ltd on behalf of thousands of investors in Neil Woodford's Woodford Equity Income Fund.

Hargreaves Lansdown had promoted Woodford's fund on its influential 'best buy' list until the GBP3.7 billion fund was suspended in 2019.

Around 300,000 investors had their money trapped in Woodford's fund when it was frozen in June 2019 including more than 130,000 Hargreaves Lansdown clients.

RGL Management said "it certainly appears that Hargreaves Lansdown knew of liquidity issues in the WEIF from November 2017."

However, Hargreaves Lansdown continued "to include the WEIF in the recommended funds making up its Wealth 50."

Shares in Hargreaves Lansdown were trading 4.5% lower at 776.20 pence each in London early Monday afternoon.

By Chris Dorrell;

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Hargreaves Lansdown PLC 1,096.00 GBX -0.81 -

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