Hargreaves Lansdown’s chief executive will quit after six years leading the UK’s largest investment platform, as the company attempts to convince investors it can deliver on ambitious plans for tech-fuelled growth.
Chris Hill, who has steered the FTSE 100 group since 2017, on Monday said he would step down by November next year, giving the board time to find a replacement.
The move comes after Hill in February outlined a five-year strategy to invest £175mn in upgrading the investment platform’s system and building a tech-led financial advice service, funded in part by cutting dividends. Shares fell on the day of the announcement and are down 45 per cent over the past 12 months.
“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 chief executive to continue to execute on this strategy and build on our market leading proposition,” said Deanna Oppenheimer, chair.
News of the departure comes at a challenging time for the UK’s leading investment platform, with more than 1.7mn customers. After enjoying a record influx of new money as savers hoarded cash in the Covid-19 pandemic, turbulence in financial markets this year has weighed on people’s willingness to invest.
The company also faces a £100mn lawsuit filed this week over its promotion of Neil Woodford’s fund prior to the star stockpicker’s collapse in 2019, claims the group has rejected.
“The impact of the challenging macroeconomic and geopolitical backdrop on asset values, client confidence and propensity to invest has been seen across our industry,” Hill said in a quarterly results statement on Monday.
Hargreaves Lansdown drew £700mn in net inflows in the third quarter, down by nearly half from last year. Revenues increased 15 per cent to £163mn as the platform benefited from higher interest rates on clients’ cash balances.