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Private client investment: Cheviot poaches 50 pros

Little-known London-based Cheviot Asset Management has poached 50 investment management professionals from UBS and other leading investment firms as it relaunches itself as an independent private client asset management group.

Before the relaunch, Cheviot was a UK stockbroker of some 20 years standing owned by accountancy firm Kingston Smith. It was acquired in May by Old Oak, a financial services group run by Martin Hughes, who separately runs hedge fund Toscafund.

Many of the 50 staff poached were formerly with Laing & Cruickshank Investment Management, which was bought by UBS in 2004 in a bid to strengthen its position in the UK private banking market. Among those former Laing & Cruickshank employees to join Cheviot is former CEO Michael Kerr-Dineen, who will be chief executive. Sir George Mathewson, former chairman and chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, has been appointed as chairman.

Cheviot says it is also in talks with senior individuals and investment teams from other firms whom it plans to recruit in its aggressive plan to become “Britain’s leading independent private client investment manager”.

Mathewson says that there is a gap in the market that a company like Cheviot can fill, and is scathing about the present private banking model. “An independent company is free from the inevitable bureaucracy of large organizations and the pressures on them to favour ‘in-house’ funds, he says.

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