Vista - How secure is your investment?

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07/08/2019
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When it comes to investing, the security of our clients’ assets is paramount. As with investing through any financial institution, it’s important for clients to be aware of how their assets are safeguarded and what protections are available in the unlikely event of our firm going into administration.  Understandably, clients want to know when they invest with Rowan Dartington, they are dealing with a company that will help protect their assets in the event of insolvency.

As a leading provider of specialist investment services, Rowan Dartington manages more than £2 billion of assets for private clients. Since 2016, we have been part of St. James’s Place, one of the UK’s largest wealth managers with over £109 billion under management and a listing on the FTSE 100 Index.

Rowan Dartington is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and we are therefore bound by their rules and regulations, in particular Client Asset (CASS) rules which govern how we look after and protect client money and assets. 

Important measures to help protect your assets

We have established a series of controls and processes to make sure that all client assets are protected. These include:

  • Senior manager oversight: We have appointed a senior manager who is responsible for ensuring that all our clients’ assets are protected. This person is approved by the FCA to hold this position.
  • Third-party due diligence: We take care in selecting and appointing any third-party firms we use to hold client assets and conduct formal due diligence on them at least once a year. If there are any concerns over the liquidity or performance of the organisations we work with, these providers will be reviewed, and appropriate action will be taken if required. 
  • Reconciliations: We conduct regular reconciliations between our records and those held at third parties as prescribed under the FCA’s CASS rules. If we identify any discrepancy or shortfall, we will investigate further and then resolve the issue by making up any difference if required.
  • Client-specific record: Our systems and controls ensure that at any time, and without undue delay, we can identify the assets we hold for each client. 
    CASS resolution pack: We keep an up-to-date CASS resolution pack as required under the FCA’s CASS rules. This contains all the information required to assist an insolvency practitioner in a timely manner.

There are some other key protections at Rowan Dartington that clients should be aware of:

  • We have permission to hold client money and investments (collectively known as ‘client assets’), which we must protect on client’s behalf. Notably, we cannot lend these assets to anyone else or use them to finance our own business.
  • We take out insurance to protect our business against a number of risks. Where it is a regulatory requirement, or it is cost-effective to do so, we will typically have in place insurance to cover risks such as negligence, or our being defrauded.

What are the specific risks in relation to cash, shares and other investments?

All client money is held on trust and is segregated from our own funds in accordance with the CASS rules. This ensures any creditors of Rowan Dartington would have no legal right to it and we can not use this money to cover any of our own obligations.

The security of the banks that we use to hold client money is reviewed regularly. We monitor their performance and security on a regular basis and will take appropriate action if an issue is identified. Our policy is to only use institutions with a UK banking licence which are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). For information on the scheme, please visit www.fscs.org.uk. 

Shares you hold with Rowan Dartington are protected in our nominee accounts or by an approved third-party custodian with you named as beneficial owner. 

In the unlikely event Rowan Dartington were to enter insolvency then clients would be able to transfer shares held in our nominee account to their new provider. If our administrators were unable to reconcile shares held in our nominee account with our detailed records, then again clients would be afforded some protections under the FSCS. 

Funds such as Unit Trusts and OEICs use a trustee or depositary to hold the title to the underlying stocks they hold in their funds. This means if the fund manager gets into difficulty your assets are protected from their creditors. The exception to this may be where the domicile of the fund group is based overseas. Nevertheless, this does not mean the investor isn’t protected; it is likely that investors in funds domiciled overseas will have protections in the funds home territory. 

We understand that the security of assets is a primary concern of all our clients, and it can be complicated to fully understand all the different scenarios and implications. Should you have any queries then please contact us to discuss.

Please note, the very stringent measures we have in place are to protect investor assets, however, it does not protect investors against the risk of loss. 

Further information

Rowan Dartington is also registered with HM Revenue & Customs. This enables us to act as an ISA manager, therefore, our procedures for operating an ISA are in line with rules set by HM Revenue and Customs.

Both Rowan Dartington and St. James’s Place are separate entities, therefore, we are both independently regulated by the FCA with different registration numbers. Clients that hold assets with both companies will benefit for the protections available to them under the FSCS for both companies. Further information on the Financial Services Compensation Scheme can be obtained by visiting their website: www.fscs.org.uk

Clients can telephone the Financial Conduct Authority Consumer Help Line on 0800 111 6768 to check our registration, or alternatively you can visit www.fca.org.uk. Our registration number with the FCA is: 155241.

The value of an investment with Rowan Dartington may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested.